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Genetic polymorphisms in COMT and BDNF influence synchronization dynamics of human neuronal oscillations

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  • Jaana Simola, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Felix Siebenhühner, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Vladislav Myrov, University of Helsinki, Aalto University
  • ,
  • Katri Kantojärvi, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Tiina Paunio, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • J. Matias Palva, University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Glasgow
  • ,
  • Elvira Brattico
  • Satu Palva, University of Helsinki, University of Glasgow

Neuronal oscillations, their inter-areal synchronization, and scale-free dynamics constitute fundamental mechanisms for cognition by regulating communication in neuronal networks. These oscillatory dynamics have large inter-individual variability that is partly heritable. We hypothesized that this variability could be partially explained by genetic polymorphisms in neuromodulatory genes. We recorded resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) from 82 healthy participants and investigated whether oscillation dynamics were influenced by genetic polymorphisms in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met. Both COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influenced local oscillation amplitudes and their long-range temporal correlations (LRTCs), while only BDNF polymorphism affected the strength of large-scale synchronization. Our findings demonstrate that COMT and BDNF genetic polymorphisms contribute to inter-individual variability in neuronal oscillation dynamics. Comparison of these results to computational modeling of near-critical synchronization dynamics further suggested that COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influenced local oscillations by modulating the excitation-inhibition balance according to the brain criticality framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104985
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

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    Research areas

  • Biological sciences, Cognitive neuroscience, Neuroscience

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