Genetic effects on the cerebellar role in working memory: same brain, different genes?

Blokland, Gabriëlla A. M., McMahon, Katie L., Thompson, Paul M., Hickie, Ian B., Martin, Nicholas G., de Zubicaray, Greig I. and Wright, Margaret J. (2014) Genetic effects on the cerebellar role in working memory: same brain, different genes?. NeuroImage, 86 392-403. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.10.006

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Author Blokland, Gabriëlla A. M.
McMahon, Katie L.
Thompson, Paul M.
Hickie, Ian B.
Martin, Nicholas G.
de Zubicaray, Greig I.
Wright, Margaret J.
Title Genetic effects on the cerebellar role in working memory: same brain, different genes?
Journal name NeuroImage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-8119
Publication date 2014-02-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.10.006
Open Access Status
Volume 86
Start page 392
End page 403
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Over the past several years, evidence has accumulated showing that the cerebellum plays a significant role in cognitive function. Here we show, in a large genetically informative twin sample (n = 430; aged 16–30 years), that the cerebellum is strongly, and reliably (n = 30 rescans), activated during an n-back working memory task, particularly lobules I–IV, VIIa Crus I and II, IX and the vermis. Monozygotic twin correlations for cerebellar activation were generally much larger than dizygotic twin correlations, consistent with genetic influences. Structural equation models showed that up to 65% of the variance in cerebellar activation during working memory is genetic (averaging 34% across significant voxels), most prominently in the lobules VI, and VIIa Crus I, with the remaining variance explained by unique/unshared environmental factors. Heritability estimates for brain activation in the cerebellum agree with those found for working memory activation in the cerebral cortex, even though cerebellar cyto-architecture differs substantially. Phenotypic correlations between BOLD percent signal change in cerebrum and cerebellum were low, and bivariate modeling indicated that genetic influences on the cerebellum are at least partly specific to the cerebellum. Activation on the voxel-level correlated very weakly with cerebellar gray matter volume, suggesting specific genetic influences on the BOLD signal. Heritable signals identified here should facilitate discovery of genetic polymorphisms influencing cerebellar function through genome-wide association studies, to elucidate the genetic liability to brain disorders affecting the cerebellum.
Keyword Cerebellum
Functional MRI
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 12 October 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 23 Oct 2013, 11:42:24 EST by Anna Cotroneo on behalf of Centre for Advanced Imaging