September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
Investigating the Genetics Underlying Human Biological Motion Perception: a Genome-wide Association Study
Author Affiliations
  • Ren Na
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental HealthKey Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education)

  • Biqing Chen
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life SciencesJiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine
  • Zijian Zhu
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences
  • Yi Rao
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life SciencesPKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Fang Fang
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental HealthKey Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education)

Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 53. doi:10.1167/18.10.53
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      Ren Na, Biqing Chen, Zijian Zhu, Yi Rao, Fang Fang; Investigating the Genetics Underlying Human Biological Motion Perception: a Genome-wide Association Study. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):53. doi: 10.1167/18.10.53.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Biological motion perception is an essential ability of human visual system, which plays a major adaptive role in identifying, interpreting and predicting actions of others. Here we employed a genome-wide association method to examine the genetics of biological motion perception as a polygenetic cognitive trait. We measured the biological motion detection ability in a healthy cohort of Chinese population with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. Visual stimuli were point-light human walker figures. In the behavioral task, subjects were presented with two successive random motion dot animations and made a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) judgment on which animation contained a point-light walker. We measured the average point-light walker detection accuracy for each subject. The behavioral performance showed substantial individual differences. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in a discovery cohort of 845 participants to identify biological-motion-detection-related variants. 125 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing suggestive genomic significance (p < 10-4) were picked out for further replication in another cohort of 2102 Chinese people. 6 SNPs passed the replication study (nominal p < 0.05). Then we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to functionally validate these candidate SNPs in another cohort of 64 Chinese people. During viewing point-light walkers (relative to randomly moving point-light dots), the neural activity of the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in the right hemisphere – a critical cortical area for biological motion processing – was taken as a phenotype. Results showed DGKD (nearest gene for SNP rs1053895) was associative with biological motion perception (nominal p < 0.05). Besides, SNP-based heritability was estimated to be 14.1% for biological motion detection ability. Evidence from this study indicates a mild contribution of genetics to human biological motion perception and suggests specific genes associated with it.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018

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