Heritability of background EEG across the power spectrum

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We estimated the genetic and nongenetic (environmental) contributions to individual differences in the background EEG power spectrum in two age cohorts with mean ages of 26.2 and 49.4 years. Nineteen-lead EEG was recorded with eyes closed from 142 monozygotic and 167 dizygotic twin pairs and their siblings, totaling 760 subjects. We obtained power spectra in 24 bins of 1 Hz ranging from 1.0 to 25.0 Hz. Generally, heritability was highest around the alpha peak frequency and lower in the theta and delta bands. In the beta band heritability gradually decreased with increasing frequency, especially in the temporal regions. Genetic correlations between power in the classical broad bands indicated that half to three-quarters of the genetic variance can be attributed to a common source. We conclude that across the scalp and most of the frequency spectrum, individual differences in adult EEG are largely determined by genetic factors. Copyright © 2005 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-697
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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