Neuronal oscillations, their inter-areal synchronization, and scale-free dynamics constitute fundamental mechanisms for cognition by regulating communication in neuronal networks. These oscillatory dynamics have large inter-individual variability that is partly heritable. We hypothesized that this variability could be partially explained by genetic polymorphisms in neuromodulatory genes. We recorded resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) from 82 healthy participants and investigated whether oscillation dynamics were influenced by genetic polymorphisms in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met. Both COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influenced local oscillation amplitudes and their long-range temporal correlations (LRTCs), while only BDNF polymorphism affected the strength of large-scale synchronization. Our findings demonstrate that COMT and BDNF genetic polymorphisms contribute to inter-individual variability in neuronal oscillation dynamics. Comparison of these results to computational modeling of near-critical synchronization dynamics further suggested that COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influenced local oscillations by modulating the excitation-inhibition balance according to the brain criticality framework.
- Biological sciences
- Cognitive neuroscience