Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research reveals genetic link to human intelligence

Date:
August 12, 2011
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
New research provides the first direct biological evidence for a genetic contribution to people's intelligence. Previous studies on twins and adopted people suggested that there is a substantial genetic contribution to thinking skills, but this new study is the first to find a genetic contribution by testing people's DNA for genetic variations.

New research provides the first direct biological evidence for a genetic contribution to people's intelligence.
Credit: iStockphoto/Mads Abildgaard

University of Manchester scientists, working with colleagues in Edinburgh and Australia, have provided the first direct biological evidence for a genetic contribution to people's intelligence.

Related Articles


Previous studies on twins and adopted people suggested that there is a substantial genetic contribution to thinking skills, but this new study -- published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry -- is the first to find a genetic contribution by testing people's DNA for genetic variations.

The team studied two types of intelligence in more than 3,500 people from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Manchester. The paper, by Dr Neil Pendleton and colleagues, found that 40% to 50% of people's differences in these abilities could be traced to genetic differences.

The study examined more than half a million genetic markers on every person in the study. The new findings were made possible using a new type of analysis invented by Professor Peter Visscher and colleagues in Brisbane. As well as the findings in people from Scotland and England, the team checked their results in a separate group of people from Norway.

Dr Pendleton, who led the Manchester team in the Centre for Integrated Genomic Research, said: "This is the first reported research to examine the intelligence of healthy older adults and, using a comprehensive genetic survey, we were able to show a substantial genetic contribution in our ability to think.

"The study confirms the earlier findings of the research in twins. However, that research could not show which genes were or were not contributing to cognitive ability. Our work demonstrates that the number of individual genes involved in intelligence is large, which is similar to other human traits, such as height.

"We can now use the findings to better understand how these genes interact with each other and the environment, which has an equally significant contribution. With our collaborators, we will take this work forward to find the biological mechanisms that could maintain our intellectual abilities and wellbeing in late life. "

The study, in collaboration with Professor Ian Deary at the University of Edinburgh, was funded in Manchester by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G Davies, A Tenesa, A Payton, J Yang, S E Harris, D Liewald, X Ke, S Le Hellard, A Christoforou, M Luciano, K McGhee, L Lopez, A J Gow, J Corley, P Redmond, H C Fox, P Haggarty, L J Whalley, G McNeill, M E Goddard, T Espeseth, A J Lundervold, I Reinvang, A Pickles, V M Steen, W Ollier, D J Porteous, M Horan, J M Starr, N Pendleton, P M Visscher, I J Deary. Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic. Molecular Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2011.85

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Research reveals genetic link to human intelligence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811215420.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2011, August 12). Research reveals genetic link to human intelligence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811215420.htm
University of Manchester. "Research reveals genetic link to human intelligence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811215420.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins