Dynamic trajectories of connectome state transitions are heritable

Suhnyoung Jun, Thomas H. Alderson, Andre Altmann, Sepideh Sadaghiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The brain's functional connectome is dynamic, constantly reconfiguring in an individual-specific manner. However, which characteristics of such reconfigurations are subject to genetic effects, and to what extent, is largely unknown. Here, we identified heritable dynamic features, quantified their heritability, and determined their association with cognitive phenotypes. In resting-state fMRI, we obtained multivariate features, each describing a temporal or spatial characteristic of connectome dynamics jointly over a set of connectome states. We found strong evidence for heritability of temporal features, particularly, Fractional Occupancy (FO) and Transition Probability (TP), representing the duration spent in each connectivity configuration and the frequency of shifting between configurations, respectively. These effects were robust against methodological choices of number of states and global signal regression. Genetic effects explained a substantial proportion of phenotypic variance of these features (h2=0.39, 95% CI= [.24,.54] for FO; h2=0.43, 95% CI=[.29,.57] for TP). Moreover, these temporal phenotypes were associated with cognitive performance. Contrarily, we found no robust evidence for heritability of spatial features of the dynamic states (i.e., states’ Modularity and connectivity pattern). Genetic effects may therefore primarily contribute to how the connectome transitions across states, rather than the precise spatial instantiation of the states in individuals. In sum, genetic effects impact the dynamic trajectory of state transitions (captured by FO and TP), and such temporal features may act as endophenotypes for cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119274
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Dynamic functional connectivity
  • Heritability
  • Hidden markov modeling
  • Twin study
  • Variance component modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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