Parametric linkage methods for analyzing quantitative trait loci are sensitive to violations in trait distributional assumptions. Non-parametric methods are relatively more robust. In this article, we modify the non-parametric regression procedure proposed by Ghosh and Majumder [2000: Am J Hum Genet 66:1046-1061] to map Beta 2 EEG waves using genome-wide data generated in the COGA project. Significant linkage findings are obtained on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, and 15 with findings at multiple regions on chromosomes 4 and 15. We analyze the data both with and without incorporating alcoholism as a covariate. We also test for epistatic interactions between regions of the genome exhibiting significant linkage with the EEG phenotypes and find evidence of epistatic interactions between a region each on chromosome 1 and chromosome 4 with one region on chromosome 15. While regressing out the effect of alcoholism does not affect the linkage findings, the epistatic interactions become statistically insignificant.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.