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Estimation of Subject-Specific Heritabilities From Intra-Individual Variation: iFACE

  • Peter C. M. Molenaar (a1), Dirk J. A. Smit (a2) (a3), Dorret I. Boomsma (a2) and John R. Nesselroade (a4)

A new genetic factor model for multivariate phenotypic time series, iFACE, is presented which allows for the estimation of subject-specific model parameters of genetic and environmental factors. The iFACE was applied to multivariate EEG registrations obtained with single dizygotic twin pairs. The results showed evidence for considerable subject-specificity in heritabilities and environmental effects. The assumption that the population is homogeneous (i.e., that each case in the population obeys the same parametric model), does not hold for these psychophysiological data, and its use should be critically reconsidered. We conclude that the iFACE provides a powerful new methodology to assess heterogeneity (subject-specificity) based on phenotypic observations.

Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Dirk J. A. Smit, Biological Psychology, VU University, van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail:
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
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