Genetic link between face and brain shape discovered

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An international team of scientists from different disciplines has discovered 76 regions of the human genome that shape both the face and the brain. This means that there is a genetic link between face and brain shape.

The authors of the new study, however, found no evidence that this genetic correlation can predict cognitive or behavioral traits or the risk of developing ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists’ findings help refute several pseudoscientific myths that the face says something about a person’s behavior.

“We mapped the genetic relationship between facial features and brain shape, and used a large body of data to do so, which allowed us to get more accurate results,” said Professor Peter Klaas of the Laboratory for Imaging Genetics at KU Leuven.

Klaas and his colleagues used methods that had already been tested in studies to identify genetic sequences that shape the face. The new data obtained by the authors of the study prove the existence of a genetic correlation between the face and the brain, and also refute some of the myths rooted even in the scientific environment. Scientists now intend to continue their research to better understand exactly how the overlapping genes on which the face and brain depend work.