Heritability and "environmentability" of electroencephalogram in infants

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Orekhova E.V., Stroganova T.A., Posikera I.N., Malykh S.B.

Abstract. We estimated relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency and amplitude parameters in infants. EEG was registered in 49 pairs of monozygotic and 45 pairs of dizygotic twins aged 7-12 months during (1) visual attention and (2) darkness. The variability of occipital alpha frequency depended mainly on genetic, probably nonadditive factors. The mean heritability for the spectral amplitudes in the delta, theta, and alpha bands were 0.37, 0.13, and 0.22 during visual attention, and 0.22, 0.40, and 0.10 during darkness. The influence of shared environment was probable for many of the EEG parameters. It was greatest for the amplitude of the theta rhythm during visual attention. The theta amplitude depended on such a parameter of early social environmental enrichment as the number of caregivers in the family. The possible relationship between infant theta rhythm and developmental outcome is discussed. For many of the EEG parameters, heritability increased during the second half of the first year of life, thus supporting the hypothesis about amplification of genetic effects and decrease of common environmental influences with age.


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    Orekhova E.V., Stroganova T.A., Posikera I.N., Malykh S.B. Heritability and "environmentability" of electroencephalogram in infants: The twin study // Psychophysiology - 2003. - 40. - № 5. - Pp. 727-741. - DOI: 10.1111/1469-8986.00073