May 22, 2017

Scientists find 40 new genes linked to intelligence

Scientists have found 40 new genes in our brains that are associated with intelligence, according to a new study in Nature Genetics. The finding doesn't tip the scales in the decades-long debate about whether intelligence is a product of nature or nurture but it will help neuroscientists and others understand and define the biological components of IQ.

How they did it: Geneticists from the Netherlands analyzed intelligence test scores and existing genetic data from 80,000 individuals of European descent. They looked for genetic markers that were consistent across people who performed well on different tests to measure intelligence and found 40 new genes. Variations of the genes influenced IQ by a fraction of a point so they aren't determiners of intelligence but the findings could be used to assess the effectiveness of strategies to boost intellectual development in children.

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