The future of fMRI and genetics research

Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 15;62(2):1286-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.063. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


I provide a brief and subjective view of where the field of imaging genetics is heading. After recapitulating early debates between imagers and geneticists revolving around the topic of candidate gene studies, I point out the importance of genome-wide significant, rare and common variants. I propose that the next stages will be dominated by large-scale multi-site studies that will enable the examination of rare-high penetrance variants and methodological developments that will be required to properly assess the effects of pleiotropy, epistasis, and gene-by environment interactions. The incorporation of new sources of biological information such as whole genome sequencing, proteomic, lipidomic and expression profiles and cellular models derived from induced pluripotent stem cells opens new vistas for imaging genetics in a translational enterprise that is ultimately hoped to improve and create therapeutic options for psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Brain Mapping / trends*
  • Genetics / trends*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends*