Genome-wide analyses of self-reported empathy: correlations with autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia nervosa

Genome-wide analyses of self-reported empathy: correlations with autism, schizophrenia, and... Empathy is the ability to recognize and respond to the emotional states of other individuals. It is an important psychological process that facilitates navigating social interactions and maintaining relationships, which are important for well-being. Several psychological studies have identified difficulties in both self-report and performance-based measures of empathy in a range of psychiatric conditions. To date, no study has systematically investigated the genetic architecture of empathy using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here we report the results of the largest GWAS of empathy to date using a well-validated self-report measure of empathy, the Empathy Quotient (EQ), in 46,861 research participants from 23andMe, Inc. We identify 11 suggestive loci (P < 1 × 10−6), though none were significant at P < 2.5 × 10−8 after correcting for multiple testing. The most significant SNP was identified in the non-stratified analysis (rs4882760; P = 4.29 × 10−8), and is an intronic SNP in TMEM132C. The EQ had a modest but significant narrow-sense heritability (0.11 ± 0.014; P = 1.7 × 10−14). As predicted, based on earlier work, we confirmed a significant female advantage on the EQ (P < 2 × 10−16, Cohen’s d = 0.65). We identified similar SNP heritability and high genetic correlation between the sexes. Also, as predicted, we identified a significant negative genetic correlation between autism and the EQ (r g = −0.27 ± 0.07, P = 1.63 × 10−4). We also identified a significant positive genetic correlation between the EQ and risk for schizophrenia (r g = 0.19 ± 0.04; P = 1.36 × 10−5), risk for anorexia nervosa (r g = 0.32 ± 0.09; P = 6 × 10−4), and extraversion (r g = 0.45 ± 0.08; 5.7 × 10−8). This is the first GWAS of self-reported empathy. The results suggest that the genetic variations associated with empathy also play a role in psychiatric conditions and psychological traits. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Translational Psychiatry Springer Journals

Genome-wide analyses of self-reported empathy: correlations with autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia nervosa

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/genome-wide-analyses-of-self-reported-empathy-correlations-with-autism-SeEgQHXHg9
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by The Author(s)
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Medicine/Public Health, general; Psychiatry; Neurosciences; Behavioral Sciences; Pharmacotherapy; Biological Psychology
eISSN
2158-3188
D.O.I.
10.1038/s41398-017-0082-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Empathy is the ability to recognize and respond to the emotional states of other individuals. It is an important psychological process that facilitates navigating social interactions and maintaining relationships, which are important for well-being. Several psychological studies have identified difficulties in both self-report and performance-based measures of empathy in a range of psychiatric conditions. To date, no study has systematically investigated the genetic architecture of empathy using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here we report the results of the largest GWAS of empathy to date using a well-validated self-report measure of empathy, the Empathy Quotient (EQ), in 46,861 research participants from 23andMe, Inc. We identify 11 suggestive loci (P < 1 × 10−6), though none were significant at P < 2.5 × 10−8 after correcting for multiple testing. The most significant SNP was identified in the non-stratified analysis (rs4882760; P = 4.29 × 10−8), and is an intronic SNP in TMEM132C. The EQ had a modest but significant narrow-sense heritability (0.11 ± 0.014; P = 1.7 × 10−14). As predicted, based on earlier work, we confirmed a significant female advantage on the EQ (P < 2 × 10−16, Cohen’s d = 0.65). We identified similar SNP heritability and high genetic correlation between the sexes. Also, as predicted, we identified a significant negative genetic correlation between autism and the EQ (r g = −0.27 ± 0.07, P = 1.63 × 10−4). We also identified a significant positive genetic correlation between the EQ and risk for schizophrenia (r g = 0.19 ± 0.04; P = 1.36 × 10−5), risk for anorexia nervosa (r g = 0.32 ± 0.09; P = 6 × 10−4), and extraversion (r g = 0.45 ± 0.08; 5.7 × 10−8). This is the first GWAS of self-reported empathy. The results suggest that the genetic variations associated with empathy also play a role in psychiatric conditions and psychological traits.

Journal

Translational PsychiatrySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 12, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off