Genetic control of functional brain network efficiency in children

M.P. Heuvel, I.L.C. van Soelen, C.J. Stam, R.S. Kahn, D.I. Boomsma, H.E. Hulshoff Pol

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The human brain is a complex network of interconnected brain regions. In adulthood, the brain's network was recently found to be under genetic influence. However, the extent to which genes influence the functional brain network early in development is not yet known. We report on the heritability of functional brain efficiency during early brain development. Using a twin design, young children underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans (N=86 from 21MZ and 22DZ twin-pairs, age=12 years). Functional connectivity, defined as the temporal dependency of neuronal activation patterns of anatomically separated brain regions, was explored using graph theory and its heritability was examined using structural equation modeling. Our findings suggest that 'global efficiency of communication' among brain regions is under genetic control (h
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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