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Neuroimaging and Genetics: Exploring, Searching, and Finding

  • Dirk J. A. Smit (a1) (a2), Dennis van ‘t Ent (a1) (a2), Greig de Zubicaray (a3) and Jason L. Stein (a3) (a4)

This issue on the genetics of brain imaging phenotypes is a celebration of the happy marriage between two of science's highly interesting fields: neuroscience and genetics. The articles collected here are ample evidence that a good deal of synergy exists in this marriage. A wide selection of papers is presented that provide many different perspectives on how genes cause variation in brain structure and function, which in turn influence behavioral phenotypes (including psychopathology). They are examples of the many different methodologies in contemporary genetics and neuroscience research. Genetic methodology includes genome-wide association (GWA), candidate-gene association, and twin studies. Sources of data on brain phenotypes include cortical gray matter (GM) structural/volumetric measures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); white matter (WM) measures from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), such as fractional anisotropy; functional- (activity-) based measures from electroencephalography (EEG), and functional MRI (fMRI). Together, they reflect a combination of scientific fields that have seen great technological advances, whether it is the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array in genetics, the increasingly high-resolution MRI imaging, or high angular resolution diffusion imaging technique for measuring WM connective properties.

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Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Dirk J. A. Smit, Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email:
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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