Genetic and brain similarity independently predict childhood anthropometrics and neighborhood socioeconomic conditions

Andreas Dahl, Espen M. Eilertsen, Sara F. Rodriguez-Cabello, Linn B. Norbom, Anneli D. Tandberg, Esten Leonardsen, Sang Hong Lee, Eivind Ystrom, Christian K. Tamnes, Dag Alnæs, Lars T. Westlye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Linking the developing brain with individual differences in clinical and demographic traits is challenging due to the substantial interindividual heterogeneity of brain anatomy and organization. Here we employ an integrative approach that parses individual differences in both cortical thickness and common genetic variants, and assess their effects on a wide set of childhood traits. The approach uses a linear mixed model framework to obtain the unique effects of each type of similarity, as well as their covariance. We employ this approach in a sample of 7760 unrelated children in the ABCD cohort baseline sample (mean age 9.9, 46.8% female). In general, associations between cortical thickness similarity and traits were limited to anthropometrics such as height, weight, and birth weight, as well as a marker of neighborhood socioeconomic conditions. Common genetic variants explained significant proportions of variance across nearly all included outcomes, although estimates were somewhat lower than previous reports. No significant covariance of the effects of genetic and cortical thickness similarity was found. The present findings highlight the connection between anthropometrics as well as neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and the developing brain, which appear to be independent from individual differences in common genetic variants in this population-based sample.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101339
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • ABCD study
  • Brain similarity
  • Cortical Thickness
  • Morphometricity
  • SNP heritability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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