Genetic influences on composite neural activations supporting visual target identification

Lauren E. Ethridge, Steve Malone, William G Iacono, Brett A. Clementz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Behavior genetic studies of brain activity associated with complex cognitive operations may further elucidate the genetic and physiological underpinnings of basic and complex neural processing. In the present project, monozygotic (N = 51 pairs) and dizygotic (N = 48 pairs) twins performed a visual oddball task with dense-array EEG. Using spatial PCA, two principal components each were retained for targets and standards; wavelets were used to obtain time-frequency maps of eigenvalue-weighted event-related oscillations for each individual. Distribution of inter-trial phase coherence (ITC) and single trial power (STP) over time indicated that the early principal component was primarily associated with ITC while the later component was associated with a mixture of ITC and STP. Spatial PCA on point-by-point broad sense heritability matrices revealed data-derived frequency bands similar to those well established in EEG literature. Biometric models of eigenvalue-weighted time-frequency data suggest a link between physiology of oscillatory brain activity and patterns of genetic influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-341
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • Spatial PCA
  • Time-frequency EEG
  • Twin study
  • Visual oddball

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