William G. Iacono, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Research Interests:

My major research interest is the study of severe mental disorders from a psychophysiological, behavior genetic perspective. My primary goal is to identify biological or psychophysiological characteristics that reflect the expression of the gene or genes that predispose individuals to develop schizophrenia or substance-use disorders. In our laboratory, my students and I record eye movements, event-related potentials, and various measures of autonomic nervous system functioning such as skin conductance and heart rate.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Schaefer JD, Hamdi NR, Malone SM, Vrieze S, Wilson S, McGue M, Iacono WG. Associations between adolescent cannabis use and young-adult functioning in three longitudinal twin studies. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Apr 6;118(14):e2013180118.
  • Harper J, Malone SM, Wilson S, Hunt RH, Thomas KM, Iacono WG. The effects of alcohol and cannabis use on the cortical thickness of cognitive control and salience brain networks in emerging edulthood: A co-twin control study. Biol Psychiatry. 2021 May 15;89(10):1012-1022.
  • Harper J, Wilson S, Malone SM, Hunt RH, Thomas KM, Iacono WG. Orbitofrontal cortex thickness and substance use disorders in emerging adulthood: causal inferences from a co-twin control/discordant twin study. Addiction. 2021 Sep;116(9):2548-2558.
  • Malone SM, Wilson S, Bair JL, McGue M, Iacono WG. A co-twin-control analysis of adolescent and young adult drinking effects on learning and memory. Addiction. 2021 Jul;116(7):1689-1699.
  • Hicks BM, Clark DA, Deak JD, Schaefer JD, Liu M, Jang S, Durbin CE, Johnson W, Wilson S, Iacono WG, McGue M, Vrieze SI. Polygenic scores for smoking and educational attainment have independent influences on academic success and adjustment in adolescence and educational attainment in adulthood. PLoS One. 2021 Aug 17;16(8):e0255348.
  • Saunders GRB, Liu M, Vrieze S, McGue M, Iacono WG; GWAS & Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine Use (GSCAN). Mechanisms of parent-child transmission of tobacco and alcohol use with polygenic risk scores: Evidence for a genetic nurture effect. Dev Psychol. 2021 May;57(5):796-804.
  • Harper J, Malone SM, Iacono WG. Conflict-related medial frontal theta as an endophenotype for alcohol use disorder. Biol Psychol. 2018;139:25-38.
  • Elkins IJ, Saunders GRB, Malone SM, Keyes MA, McGue M, Iacono WG.   Associations between childhood ADHD, gender, and adolescent alcohol and marijuana involvement: A causally informative design.  Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Mar 1;184:33-41.
  • Iacono WG.   Endophenotypes in psychiatric disease: prospects and challenges.  Genome Med. 2018 Feb 22;10(1):11. PMID: 29471866
  • Wilson S, Bair JL, Thomas KM, Iacono WG. Problematic alcohol use and reduced hippocampal volume: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Med. 2017;47:2288-2301.
  • Harper J, Malone SM, Iacono WG. Testing the effects of adolescent alcohol use on adult conflict-related theta dynamics. Clin Neurophysiol. 2017;128:2358-2368.
  • Epstein M, Hill KG, Roe SS, Bailey JA, Iacono WG, McGue M, Kristman-Valente A, Catalano RF, Haggerty KP. Time-varying effects of families and peers on adolescent marijuana use: Person-environment interactions across development. Dev Psychopathol. 2017;29:887-900.
  • Burwell SJ, Malone SM, Iacono WG. One-year developmental stability and covariance among oddball, novelty, go/no-go, and flanker event-related potentials in adolescence: A monozygotic twin study. PPsychophysiology. 2016;53:991-1007.
  • Jackson NJ, Isen JD, Khoddam R, Irons D, Tuvblad C, Iacono WG, McGue M, Raine A, Baker LA. Impact of adolescent marijuana use on intelligence: Results from two longitudinal twin studies. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113:E500-8.
  • Dawes CT, Settle JE, Loewen PJ, McGue M, Iacono WG. Genes, psychological traits and civic engagement. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015;370(1683):20150015.
  • Brislin SJ, Venables NC, Drislane LE, Blonigen DM, Iacono WG, Tellegen A, Edens JF, Patrick CJ. Further validation of triarchic psychopathy scales from the multidimensional personality questionnaire: Setting the stage for large-sample etiological studies. Assessment. 2017;24:575-590.
  • O'Connor SM, Klump KL, VanHuysse JL, McGue M, Iacono W. Does parental divorce moderate the heritability of body dissatisfaction? An extension of previous gene-environment interaction effects. Int J Eat Disord. 2016;49:186-90.
  • Hamilton ER, Samek DR, Keyes M, McGue MK, Iacono WG. Identity development in a transracial environment: Racial/ethnic minority adoptees in Minnesota. Adopt Q. 2015;18:217-233.
  • Wilson S, Malone SM, Thomas KM, Iacono WG. Adolescent drinking and brain morphometry: A co-twin control analysis. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015;16:130-138..
  • Spain SL, Pedroso I, Kadeva N, Miller MB, Iacono WG, McGue M, Stergiakouli E, Smith GD, Putallaz M, Lubinski D, Meaburn EL, Plomin R, Simpson MA. A genome-wide analysis of putative functional and exonic variation associated with extremely high intelligence. Mol Psychiatry. 2016;21:1145-51.
  • Foster KT, Hicks BM, Iacono WG, McGue M. Gender differences in the structure of risk for alcohol use disorder in adolescence and young adulthood. Psychol Med. 2015;45:3047-3058.
  • Männik K, Mägi R, Macé A, Cole B, Guyatt AL, Shihab HA, Maillard AM, Alavere H, Kolk A, Reigo A, Mihailov E, Leitsalu L, Ferreira AM, Nõukas M, Teumer A, Salvi E, Cusi D, McGue M, Iacono WG, Gaunt TR, Beckmann JS, Jacquemont S, Kutalik Z, Pankratz N, Timpson N, Metspalu A, Reymond A. Copy number variations and cognitive phenotypes in unselected populations.JAMA. 2015;313:2044-54.
  • Genetics of Personality Consortium, de Moor MH, van den Berg SM, Verweij KJ, Krueger RF, Luciano M, Arias Vasquez A, Matteson LK, Derringer J, Esko T, Amin N, Gordon SD, Hansell NK, Hart AB, Seppälä I, Huffman JE, Konte B, Lahti J, Lee M, Miller M, Nutile T, Tanaka T, Teumer A, Viktorin A, Wedenoja J, Abecasis GR, Adkins DE, Agrawal A, Allik J, Appel K, Bigdeli TB, Busonero F, Campbell H, Costa PT, Davey Smith G, Davies G, de Wit H, Ding J, Engelhardt BE, Eriksson JG, Fedko IO, Ferrucci L, Franke B, Giegling I, Grucza R, Hartmann AM, Heath AC, Heinonen K, Henders AK, Homuth G, Hottenga JJ, Iacono WG, Janzing J, Jokela M, Karlsson R, Kemp JP, Kirkpatrick MG, Latvala A, Lehtimäki T, Liewald DC, Madden PA, Magri C, Magnusson PK, Marten J, Maschio A, Medland SE, Mihailov E, Milaneschi Y, Montgomery GW, Nauck M, Ouwens KG, Palotie A, Pettersson E, Polasek O, Qian Y, Pulkki-Råback L, Raitakari OT, Realo A, Rose RJ, Ruggiero D, Schmidt CO, Slutske WS, Sorice R, Starr JM, St Pourcain B, Sutin AR, Timpson NJ, Trochet H, Vermeulen S, Vuoksimaa E, Widen E, Wouda J, Wright MJ, Zgaga L, Porteous D, Minelli A, Palmer AA, Rujescu D, Ciullo M, Hayward C, Rudan I, Metspalu A, Kaprio J, Deary IJ, Räikkönen K, Wilson JF, Keltikangas-Järvinen L, Bierut LJ, Hettema JM, Grabe HJ, van Duijn CM, Evans DM, Schlessinger D, Pedersen NL, Terracciano A, McGue M, Penninx BW, Martin NG, Boomsma DI. Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism, and the polygenic association with major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72:642-50.
  • Samek DR, Elkins IJ, Keyes MA, Iacono WG, McGue M. High School Sports Involvement Diminishes the Association Between Childhood Conduct Disorder and Adult Antisocial Behavior. J Adolesc Health. 2015;57:107-12.
  • Iacono WG. Neurobehavioral aspects of multidimensional psychopathology. Am J Psychiatry. 2014;171:1236-9.
  • Wilson S, Vaidyanathan U, Miller MB, McGue M, Iacono WG. Premorbid risk factors for major depressive disorder: Are they associated with early onset and recurrent course? Dev Psychopathol. 2014;26(4 Pt 2):1477-93.
  • Rietveld CA, Esko T, Davies G, Pers TH, Turley P, Benyamin B, Chabris CF, Emilsson V, Johnson AD, Lee JJ, de Leeuw C, Marioni RE, Medland SE, Miller MB, Rostapshova O, van der Lee SJ, Vinkhuyzen AA, Amin N, Conley D, Derringer J, van Duijn CM, Fehrmann R, Franke L, Glaeser EL, Hansell NK, Hayward C, Iacono WG, Ibrahim-Verbaas C, Jaddoe V, Karjalainen J, Laibson D, Lichtenstein P, Liewald DC, Magnusson PK, Martin NG, McGue M, McMahon G, Pedersen NL, Pinker S, Porteous DJ, Posthuma D, Rivadeneira F, Smith BH, Starr JM, Tiemeier H, Timpson NJ, Trzaskowski M, Uitterlinden AG, Verhulst FC, Ward ME, Wright MJ, Davey Smith G, Deary IJ, Johannesson M, Plomin R, Visscher PM, Benjamin DJ, Cesarini D, Koellinger PD. Common genetic variants associated with cognitive performance identified using the proxy-phenotype method. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(38):13790-13794.
  • Isen JD, Sparks JC, Iacono WG. Predictive validity of delay discounting behavior in adolescence: a longitudinal twin study. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014;22:434-43.
  • Irons DE, Iacono WG, McGue M. Tests of the effects of adolescent early alcohol exposures on adult outcomes. Addiction. 2015;110(2):269-78.
  • Bailey JA, Samek DR, Keyes MA, Hill KG, Hicks BM, McGue M, Iacono WG, Epstein M, Catalano RF, Haggerty KP, Hawkins JD. General and substance-specific predictors of young adult nicotine dependence, alcohol use disorder, and problem behavior: replication in two samples. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014;138:161-8.
  • Clark DB, de Wit H, Iacono WG. ADHD, impulsivity and alcohol abuse: methods, results, and implications. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014;22:141-3.
  • Hicks BM, Iacono WG, McGue M. Identifying childhood characteristics that underlie premorbid risk for substance use disorders: socialization and boldness. Dev Psychopathol. 2014;26:141-57.
  • Bailey JA, Samek DR, Keyes MA, Hill KG, Hicks BM, McGue M, Iacono WG, Epstein M, Catalano RF, Haggerty KP, Hawkins JD. General and substance-specific predictors of young adult nicotine dependence, alcohol use disorder, and problem behavior: Replication in two samples. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014;138:161-168.

Former Graduate Students:

Diane Gooding (Ph.D., Psychology, 1995). Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin,Madison.

Beth Snitz (Ph.D., Psychology, 1997). Postdoctora; Fellow, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Alysa Doyle (Ph.D., Psychology, 1998). Research Scientist, Massachusetts general Hospital, Boston, MA.

Clayton Curtis (Ph.D., 1999, Psychology). Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, CA.

McGuire,K. A. (2000). The utility of spontaneous electroencephalography in research on alcohol dependence and risk for alcohol dependence. Postdictoral fellow, Minneapolis VAMC

Disney,E.R. (2001). The impact of prenatal alcohol or tobacco exposure on later ADHD or CD offspring. Postdoctoral fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Marmorstein,N. R. (2001). The co-occurrence of major depression and conduct disorder in adolescents. (In press, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Assitant Professor, Rutgers University

Conklin,H.M. (2002). Working memory functioning in schizophrenia patients and their first-degree relatives: Cognitive functioning shedding light on etiology. Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Calkins,M. (2002). The co-aggregation of smooth pursuit, saccade and fixation eye movement dysfunction in schizophrenia patients and their first degree biological relatives. Postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania.

William Iacono