Neural mechanism and heritability of complex motor sequence and audiovisual integration: A healthy twin study

Zhi Li, Jia Huang, Ting Xu, Ya Wang, Ke Li, Ya Wei Zeng, Simon S.Y. Lui, Eric F.C. Cheung, Zhen Jin, Paola Dazzan, David C. Glahn, Raymond C.K. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Complex motor sequencing and sensory integration are two key items in scales assessing neurological soft signs. However, the underlying neural mechanism and heritability of these two functions is not known. Using a healthy twin design, we adopted two functional brain imaging tasks focusing on fist-edge-palm (FEP) complex motor sequence and audiovisual integration (AVI). Fifty-six monozygotic twins and 56 dizygotic twins were recruited in this study. The pre- and postcentral, temporal and parietal gyri, the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum were activated during the FEP motor sequence, whereas the precentral, temporal, and fusiform gyri, the thalamus, and the caudate were activated during AVI. Activation in the supplementary motor area during FEP motor sequence and activation in the precentral gyrus and the thalamic nuclei during AVI exhibited significant heritability estimates, ranging from 0.5 to 0.62. These results suggest that activation in cortical motor areas, the thalamus and the cerebellum associated with complex motor sequencing and audiovisual integration function may be heritable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1448
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • audiovisual integration
  • fMRI
  • fist-edge-palm
  • healthy twin
  • heritability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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