Variability and concordance of sulcal patterns in the orbitofrontal cortex: A twin study

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2022 Aug:324:111492. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2022.111492. Epub 2022 May 14.


Sulcogyral patterns have been identified in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) based on the continuity of the medial and lateral orbital sulci. Pattern types are named according to their frequency in the population, with Type I present in ∼60%, Type II in ∼25%, Type III in ∼10%, and Type IV in ∼5%. Previous work has demonstrated that psychiatric conditions with high estimated heritability (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) are associated with reduced frequency of Type I patterns, but the general heritability of the OFC sulcogyral patterns is unknown. We examined concordance of OFC patterns in 304 monozygotic (MZ) twins relative to 172 dizygotic (DZ) twins using structural magnetic resonance imaging data. We find that the frequency of pattern types within MZ and DZ twins are similar and bilateral concordance rates across all pattern types in DZ twins were 14% and 21% for MZ twins. Results from follow-up analyses confirm that continuity in the rostral-caudal direction is an important source of variability within the OFC, and subtype analyses indicate that variability is present in other sulci that are not represented by overall OFC pattern type. Overall, these results suggest that OFC sulcogyral patterns may reflect important variance that is not genetic in origin.

Keywords: Heritability; Magnetic resonance imaging; Morphometry; Neurogenetics; Prefrontal cortex; Sulcogyral.

Publication types

  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Schizophrenia* / genetics
  • Schizophrenia* / pathology