BDNF Val66Met is associated with performance in a computerized visual-motor tracking test in healthy adults

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Department of Computer Science; Center for Scalable Architectures and Systems


The brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF) is known to play an important role in neuroplasticity and cognitive processes. We explored the association of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism with performance in a visual-motor tracking test. One hundred and sixty-seven young, healthy Colombian adults completed a computerized version of the Pursuit Rotor Task, using the Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL) platform. DNA genotyping was performed by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction. We found that BDNF Val/Met and Met/Met subjects performed better in the pursuit rotor task (p = .03). Our findings suggest that the BDNF gene is essential to understand differences in motor performance in healthy participants in different populations. This approach could be useful for future fine mapping of genetic modifiers for neuropsychiatric diseases.

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Motor Control