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Imaging and Cognitive Genetics: The Norwegian Cognitive NeuroGenetics Sample

  • Thomas Espeseth (a1) (a2) (a3), Andrea Christoforou (a4) (a5), Astri J. Lundervold (a3) (a6) (a7), Vidar M. Steen (a1) (a4) (a5), Stephanie Le Hellard (a1) (a4) (a5) and Ivar Reinvang (a1) (a8)...

Abstract

Data collection for the Norwegian Cognitive NeuroGenetics sample (NCNG) was initiated in 2003 with a research grant (to Ivar Reinvang) to study cognitive aging, brain function, and genetic risk factors. The original focus was on the effects of aging (from middle age and up) and candidate genes (e.g., APOE, CHRNA4) in cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, with the cognitive and MRI-based data primarily being used for this purpose. However, as the main topic of the project broadened from cognitive aging to imaging and cognitive genetics more generally, the sample size, age range of the participants, and scope of available phenotypes and genotypes, have developed beyond the initial project. In 2009, a genome-wide association (GWA) study was undertaken, and the NCNG proper was established to study the genetics of cognitive and brain function more comprehensively. The NCNG is now controlled by the NCNG Study Group, which consists of the present authors. Prominent features of the NCNG are the adult life-span coverage of healthy participants with high-dimensional imaging, and cognitive data from a genetically homogenous sample. Another unique property is the large-scale (sample size 300–700) use of experimental cognitive tasks focusing on attention and working memory. The NCNG data is now used in numerous ongoing GWA-based studies and has contributed to several international consortia on imaging and cognitive genetics. The objective of the following presentation is to give other researchers the information necessary to evaluate possible contributions from the NCNG to various multi-sample data analyses.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Thomas Espeseth, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, N-0407 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: thomas.espeseth@psykologi.uio.no

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