The research on 60,000 adults and 20,000 children uncovered 40 new genes that play a role in intelligence, a haul that brings the number of genes known to have a bearing on IQ to 52.
Previous work with twins has shown that genes account for about half of the difference that is seen in IQ scores across the population, with the rest being shaped by factors such as conditions in the womb, nutrition, pollution and a person’s social environment. “Genes do not determine everything for intelligence,” said [Danielle Posthuma, a statistical geneticist at the Free University of Amsterdam]. “There are so many other factors that affect how well someone does on an IQ test.”
It is thought that hundreds, if not thousands, of genes play a role in human intelligence, with most contributing only a minuscule amount to a person’s cognitive prowess. The vast majority have yet to be found, and those that have do not have a huge impact. Taken together, all of the genes identified in the latest study explain only about 5% of the variation in people’s IQs, the scientists found.
[Read the full study here.]
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