ESHG 2014: The influence of genetics on personality development

Title: P16.66-M - The influence of genetics on personality development
Keywords: Personality; NEO-FFI Authors: K. B. Wolffhechel1, H. Jarmer1, S. M. van den Berg2, M. H. M. de Moor3, D. I. Boomsma3; 1Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, 2Department of Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, 3Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Abstract: Personality is known as hereditary to a certain extent. In this work we attempt to classify personality traits as binary traits based on genetic information only. For this we used the 60-item NEO-FFI and over 8 million SNPs from 6655 Dutch participants. For feature selection we performed a genome-wide association for each personality trait in a five-fold cross validation setup. All SNPs with a p-value < 0.01 were chosen as predictors for a given fold and a given personality trait, amounting to approximately 2,500 associated SNPs for each trait. An artificial neural network was trained with the SNPs as input and the personality scores as output. We found it possible to classify a person’s personality to the two sides of the scale significantly better than random. The results of this study prove in a novel way that genetics have an influence on personality. The next step is to identify, which genes these SNPs belong to, which hopefully will lead to a greater understanding of the processes involved in personality development and the onset of personality disorders.

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