Behavioral and molecular genetics of reading-related AM and FM detection thresholds

Matthew Bruni, Judy F. Flax, Steven Buyske, Amber D. Shindhelm, Caroline Witton, Linda M. Brzustowicz, Christopher W. Bartlett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Auditory detection thresholds for certain frequencies of both amplitude modulated (AM) and frequency modulated (FM) dynamic auditory stimuli are associated with reading in typically developing and dyslexic readers. We present the first behavioral and molecular genetic characterization of these two auditory traits. Two extant extended family datasets were given reading tasks and psychoacoustic tasks to determine FM 2 Hz and AM 20 Hz sensitivity thresholds. Univariate heritabilities were significant for both AM (h2 = 0.20) and FM (h2 = 0.29). Bayesian posterior probability of linkage (PPL) analysis found loci for AM (12q, PPL = 81 %) and FM (10p, PPL = 32 %; 20q, PPL = 65 %). Bivariate heritability analyses revealed that FM is genetically correlated with reading, while AM was not. Bivariate PPL analysis indicates that FM loci (10p, 20q) are not also associated with reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193–201
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number2
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

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  • dynamic auditory sensitivity
  • AM sensitivity
  • FM sensitivity
  • reading
  • language
  • heritability


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