Morphometricity as a measure of the neuroanatomical signature of a trait


Sabuncu, M.R., et al. Morphometricity as a measure of the neuroanatomical signature of a trait. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 39, E5749–E5756 (2016).
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Complex physiological and behavioral traits, including neurological and psychiatric disorders, often associate with distributed anatomical variation. This paper introduces a global metric, called morphometricity, as a measure of the anatomical signature of different traits. Morphometricity is defined as the proportion of phenotypic variation that can be explained by macroscopic brain morphology. We estimate morphometricity via a linear mixed-effects model that uses an anatomical similarity matrix computed based on measurements derived from structural brain MRI scans. We examined over 3,800 unique MRI scans from nine large-scale studies to estimate the morphometricity of a range of phenotypes, including clinical diagnoses such as Alzheimers disease, and non-clinical traits such as measures of cognition. Our results demonstrate that morphometricity can provide novel insights about the neuroanatomical correlates of a diverse set of traits, revealing associations that might not be detectable through traditional statistical techniques. 

Last updated on 09/28/2016