Using Sibling Designs to Understand Neurodevelopmental Disorders: From Genes and Environments to Prevention Programming
Imaging genetics examines genetic influences on brain structure and function. This preliminary study tested a fundamental assumption of that approach by estimating the heritability of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal during antisaccades, a measure of response inhibition impaired in different psychiatric conditions. One hundred thirty-two healthy same-sex reared-together twins (90 monozygotic (MZ; 32 male) and 42 dizygotic (DZ; 24 male)) performed antisaccades in the laboratory. Of these, 96 twins (60 MZ, 28 male; 36 DZ, 22 male) subsequently underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during antisaccades. Variation in antisaccade direction errors in the laboratory showed significant heritability (47%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 22-65). In fMRI, the contrast of antisaccades with prosaccades yielded BOLD signal in fronto-parietal-subcortical networks. Twin modelling provided tentative evidence of significant heritability (50%, 95% CI: 18-72) of BOLD in the left thalamus only. However, due to the limited power to detect heritability in this study, replications in larger samples are needed.