July 08, 2014

Generalist Genes influence both reading and math ability

Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4204 doi:10.1038/ncomms5204

The correlation between reading and mathematics ability at age twelve has a substantial genetic component

Oliver S. P. Davis

Dissecting how genetic and environmental influences impact on learning is helpful for maximizing numeracy and literacy. Here we show, using twin and genome-wide analysis, that there is a substantial genetic component to children’s ability in reading and mathematics, and estimate that around one half of the observed correlation in these traits is due to shared genetic effects (so-called Generalist Genes). Thus, our results highlight the potential role of the learning environment in contributing to differences in a child’s cognitive abilities at age twelve.



Romulus said...

I read the study and it seems that they failed to find any correlation between any SNPs and reading/mathematical ability. They claim that the data implies a correlation although they were unable to find one. Looks like more support for Nurture in the Nature vs. Nurture argument.

Fanty said...


Its just that human science doesnt know anything about human genetics really.

Its like that genetican who, some month ago uttered "Maybe genes work totaly different from what we actual think they do"

Because at the moment, less than 2% of the things that we KNOW that they MUST be inheritated (physical apearance and so on) can be explained by DNA at the moment.

And since it cant be that 98% of how a face looks is nurture and 2% is genetical.

The 2% just tell us: Something in what we think how genes work must be totaly wrong.

Anatolian Turkmen said...

Romulus you didn't understand the study correctly. They show that there is a genetic link with IQ (using twins, the general population). However they are not able to pinpoint which SNP's lead to these IQ differences. This suggests to them that there are many SNP's that affect IQ rather than a few.

IQ is still genetic but the genes regulating IQ are too many to pinpoint.

Grognard said...

If there was a single IQ gene that strongly worked then it would be fixed in most of the world from natural selection.

Fanty said...

I think we will finaly find out that DNA works a little bit like a language. And at the moment we compare 2 texts letter by letter or words and have minimum random success. While in truth, the only thing with a meaning is the content of the text. And that the same thing can be said by using different words.

And thats why we fail to find relations.

Paul White said...

@Turkmen: do you have a divine revelation, or something?

I wish you'd rephrase to something like "... my understanding of the study is ..."

Creative said...

Might interest some readers.

Prof. Charles ffrench-Constant - Why Doesn't the Brain Repair Itself?