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Spatial profile of the heritability of functional connections
The spatial profile of the heritability of functional connections between brain areas (Figure taken from Colclough et al 2017 https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20178.004)

In a new study recently published in eLIFE, OHBA researchers Dr Giles Colclough and Professor Mark Woolrich discover that nature takes precedence over nurture in determining how our brain areas communicate.

The brain works by coordinating communication across networks of different brain areas. The way these networks are configured varies between individuals, and this has been shown to relate to behavioural differences between people. In this study, the authors compared brain activity in identical and non-identical twins to examine the overall role of genetics in explaining individual differences in coordination of brain networks.

By studying twins, the researchers were able tease apart the degree of genetic and environmental influences on brain networks and found that genetics substantially exceeded the contribution from the environment shared between twins. This study demonstrates the greater importance of nature over nurture in terms of how the brain coordinates its activity across different brain networks.