Queensland Twin IMaging (QTIM) Study

This collaborative project was initiated with NIH funding granted to Margie Wright (PI), Paul Thompson, Greig de Zubicaray, Nick Martin, Katie McMahon, and Arthur Toga (bringing together researchers from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, the University of Queensland, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles). Brain imaging was collected in a large genetically-informative population sample of young adults (N>1200) for whom a range of behavioural traits, including cognitive function, were already characterised (as a component of the Brisbane Adolescent Twin Study, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute). The project continues to add to our understanding of the genetic influences that determine variation in neuroanatomic structure, neural connectivity, and cognitive ability. Examining these relationships in a healthy cohort also provides insights into the role of genes associated with brain-related measures of neurological and psychiatric disease. In addition, the project joins with 50+ groups worldwide contributing data (>30,000 subjects) to the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium, which pools data to maximise power and validate findings within the field of imaging genetics.

Key Publications

Blokland, G. A., McMahon, K. L., Thompson, P. M., Martin, N. G., de Zubicaray, G. I., & Wright, M. J. (2011). Heritability of working memory brain activation. J Neurosci, 31(30), 10882-10890. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5334-10.2011

Chiang, M. C., McMahon, K. L., de Zubicaray, G. I., Martin, N. G., Hickie, I., Toga, A. W., . . . Thompson, P. M. (2011). Genetics of white matter development: a DTI study of 705 twins and their siblings aged 12 to 29. Neuroimage, 54(3), 2308-2317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.015

Couvy-Duchesne, B., Blokland, G. A., Hickie, I. B., Thompson, P. M., Martin, N. G., de Zubicaray, G. I., . . . Wright, M. J. (2014). Heritability of head motion during resting state functional MRI in 462 healthy twins. Neuroimage, 102 Pt 2, 424-434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.08.010

Renteria, M. E., Hansell, N. K., Strike, L. T., McMahon, K. L., de Zubicaray, G. I., Hickie, I. B., . . . Wright, M. J. (2014). Genetic architecture of subcortical brain regions: common and region-specific genetic contributions. Genes Brain Behav, 13(8), 821-830. https://doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12177

Sinclair, B., Hansell, N. K., Blokland, G. A., Martin, N. G., Thompson, P. M., Breakspear, M., . . . McMahon, K. L. (2015). Heritability of the network architecture of intrinsic brain functional connectivity. Neuroimage, 121, 243-252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.07.048

Strike, L. T., Hansell, N. K., Couvy-Duchesne, B., Thompson, P. M., de Zubicaray, G. I., McMahon, K. L., & Wright, M. J. (2018). Genetic Complexity of Cortical Structure: Differences in Genetic and Environmental Factors Influencing Cortical Surface Area and Thickness. Cereb Cortex. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhy002