Zuyao Y. Shan1, Katie L. McMahon1, Greig I. de Zubicaray2, Paul M. Thompson3, Nicholas G. Martin4, Margaret J. Wright4, David C. Reutens1
1Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; 2School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072; 3Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States; 4Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Queensland Insitute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
Neurovascular coupling is crucial for normal brain function but the contribution of genetic factors to coupling mechanisms is poorly understood. We investigated the heritability of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) of BOLD fMRI in the brain using the twin methodology, in which the degree of concordance between monozygotic (MZ, identical) and dizygotic (DZ, fraternal) twin pairs is compared. We found smaller differences in HRF time to peak in MZ than DZ twin pairs. It suggests that this trait is heritable, perhaps reflecting the genetic influence on neurovascular coupling factors that control the timing of blood entry into the activated area.