Heritability maps of human face morphology through large-scale automated three-dimensional phenotyping. D Tsagkrasoulis, P Hysi, T Spector, G Montana.
Date: August 2016
Abstract: The human face is a complex trait under strong genetic control, as evidenced by the striking visual similarity between twins. Nevertheless, heritability estimates of facial traits have often been surprisingly low or difficult to replicate. Furthermore, the construction of facial phenotypes that correspond to naturally perceived facial features remains largely a mystery. We present here a large-scale heritability study of face geometry that aims to address these issues. High-resolution, three-dimensional facial models have been acquired on a cohort of $952$ twins recruited from the TwinsUK registry, and processed through a novel landmarking workflow, GESSA (Geodesic Ensemble Surface Sampling Algorithm). The algorithm places thousands of landmarks throughout the facial surface and automatically establishes point-wise correspondence across faces. These landmarks enabled us to intuitively characterize facial geometry at a fine level of detail through curvature measurements, yielding accurate heritability maps of the human face (www.heritabilitymaps.info).
Article: Heritability maps of human face morphology through large-scale automated three-dimensional phenotyping.
Authors: Dimosthenis Tsagkrasoulis, Pirro Hysi, Tim Spector, and Giovanni Montana.