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Mapping Complex Brain Torque Components and Their Genetic and Phenomic Architecture in 24,112 healthy individuals

By Lu Zhao, William Matloff, Yonggang Shi, Ryan P Cabeen, Arthur W. Toga

Posted 09 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.09.434625

The mechanisms determining the development and individual variability of brain torque (BT) remain unclear. Here, all relevant components of BT were analyzed using neuroimaging data of up to 24,112 individuals from 6 cohorts. Our large-scale data confirmed the population-level predominance of the typical anticlockwise torque and suggested a 'first attenuating, then enlarging' dynamic across the lifespan primarily for frontal, occipital and perisylvian BT features. Sex/handedness differences in BT were found and were related to cognitive sex/handedness differences in verbal-numerical reasoning. We observed differential heritability of up to 56% for BT, especially in temporal language areas, and identified numerous genome- and phenome-wide significant associations pointing to neurodevelopment, cognitive functions, lifestyle, neurological and psychiatric disorders, sociodemographic, cardiovascular and anthropometric traits. This study provides a comprehensive description of BT and insights into biological and other factors that may contribute to the development and individual variations of BT.

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