Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In this report, we present the first regional quantitative analysis of age-related differences in the heritability of cortical thickness using anatomic MRI with a large pediatric sample of twins, twin siblings, and singletons (n = 600, mean age 11.1 years, range 5-19). Regions of primary sensory and motor cortex, which develop earlier, both phylogenetically and ontologically, show relatively greater genetic effects earlier in childhood. Later developing regions within the dorsal prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes conversely show increasingly prominent genetic effects with maturation. The observation that regions associated with complex cognitive processes such as language, tool use, and executive function are more heritable in adolescents than children is consistent with previous studies showing that IQ becomes increasingly heritable with maturity(Plomin et al. 1997: Psychol Sci 8:442-447). These results suggest that both the specific cortical region and the age of the population should be taken into account when using cortical thickness as an intermediate phenotype to link genes, environment, and behavior.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/hbm.20494

Type

Journal article

Journal

Hum Brain Mapp

Publication Date

01/2009

Volume

30

Pages

163 - 174

Keywords

Adolescent, Age Factors, Aging, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Child, Preschool, Cognition, Environment, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Humans, Inheritance Patterns, Intelligence, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Motor Cortex, Phenotype, Prefrontal Cortex, Somatosensory Cortex, Temporal Lobe, Young Adult