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Genetic overlap between midfrontal theta signals and ADHD and ASD in a longitudinal twin cohort

Aydin, Ü. ORCID:, Gyurkovics, M., Ginestet, C., Capp, S., Greven, C. U., Palmer, J. and McLoughlin, G. (2023) Genetic overlap between midfrontal theta signals and ADHD and ASD in a longitudinal twin cohort. Biological Psychiatry. ISSN 0006-3223

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.05.006


Background Cognitive control has been strongly linked to midfrontal theta (4-8 Hz) brain activity. Such control processes are known to be impaired in those with psychiatric conditions, and neurodevelopmental diagnoses, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Temporal variability in theta in particular is associated with ADHD with shared genetic variance underlying the relationship. Here, we investigated the phenotypic and genetic relationships between theta phase variability, theta-related signals (N2, ERN, Pe), reaction time, and ADHD and ASD longitudinally in a large twin study of young adults to investigate the stability of the genetic relationships between these measures over time. Methods Genetic multivariate liability threshold models were run on a longitudinal sample of 566 participants (283 twin pairs). Characteristics of ADHD and ASD were measured in childhood and in young adulthood, while EEG was recorded in young adulthood during an arrow flanker task. Results Cross-trial theta phase variability in adulthood showed large positive phenotypic and genetic relationships with reaction time variability and both childhood and adult ADHD characteristics. Pe amplitude was negatively related phenotypically and genetically to ADHD and ASD at both time points. Conclusions We show significant genetic associations between variability in theta signalling and ADHD. In a novel finding, we show that these relationships are stable across time, indicating a core dysregulation of the temporal coordination of control processes in ADHD that persists in those with childhood symptoms. Error processing, indexed by the Pe, was altered in both ADHD and ASD, with a strong genetic contribution.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:112078
Uncontrolled Keywords:EEG, twin study, ADHD, ASD, longitudinal, frontal midline theta

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