Imaging genetics combines brain imaging and genetics to detect genetic variation in brain structure and function related to behavioral traits, including psychiatric endpoints, cognition, and affective regulation. This special issue features extensive reviews of the current state-of-the-art of the field and adds new findings from twin and candidate gene studies on functional MRI. Here we present a brief overview and discuss a number of desirable future developments which include more specific a priori hypotheses, more standardization of MRI measurements within and across laboratories, and larger sample sizes that allows testing of multiple genes and their interactions up to a scale that allows genetic whole genome association studies. Based on the overall tenet of the contributions to this special issue we predict that imaging genetics will increasingly impact on the classification systems for psychiatric disorders and the early detection and treatment of vulnerable individuals. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.