Radboud University Nijmegen launches a new initiative, bridging the gap between the genes that we bring along and the way our minds work. At this university, this new field of Cognomics will be a major area of research in the coming years
Through advanced neuroimaging analyses and extensive behavioral testing, in combination with state-of-the-art genetics and genomics research we hope to learn in the following years, how the genetic infrastructure of an individual builds a brain that is cognition-ready, how interindividual differences in memory, language and selected behavioral traits come about, and how genetic factors involved in complex brain pathology (as in psychiatric disorders) affect brain structure and function.
The knowledge acquired through the Cognomics research should help us understand the mechanisms behind the effects of genes in our brain. Through this we can tailor education and work environments better to the profile of individual talents and skills. In the domain of mental disorders it should contribute to characterize individual risk factors. The benefit for society will be enormous, since efficiency of education and labour will increase, and the increasing costs of psychiatric disease will reduce.