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Influencing the Brain

Dendrite at Genes to Brains to Mind to Me points out a recent paper in the journal NeuroImage that reports on a twin study of brain structure. They performed imaging of the brains of 202 pairs of male twins, both fraternal and identical, to "[assess] genetic, shared environmental, and individual-specific environmental influences" on structural differences of 96 brain regions, according to the paper abstract. "Some of the highlights from the paper are that genes accounted for about 70% of overall brain volume, while in the cortex, genes accounted for only about 45% of cortical thickness," Dendrite writes. "Much of the environmental effects were found to be non-shared, suggesting, as expected, that individual experience can have strong effects on brain structure."