The influence of NRXN1 on systemizing and the brain structure in healthy adults

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Certain behavioral characteristics of autism spectrum disorder can be found in otherwise healthy people. Individuals with difficulties in social adaptation may have subclinical autistic traits; however, effective biomarkers of these traits have not yet been established. There is a dire need for objective indices of these traits that combine behavior, brain images, and genetic information. In this study, we examined the association among a single nucleotide polymorphism of NRXN1 (rs858932; C/G), autistic traits, and brain structure in 311 healthy adults. We found that carriers of minor alleles (carriers of the G-allele) had significantly higher systemizing scores than major-allele (C-allele) homozygotes. Furthermore, the regional white matter volume in the right anterior limb of the internal capsule was significantly greater in carriers of the G-allele than in C-allele homozygotes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of NRXN1 rs858932 being involved in systemizing and the brain structure of healthy adults. Our findings provide insight into the effects of genetics on autistic traits and their respective neural substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-701
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr


  • Autism
  • Cognitive drives
  • NRXN1
  • Subclinical autistic traits


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