Genetic basis of a cognitive complexity metric

Hansell, Narelle K., Halford, Graeme S., Andrews, Glenda, Shum, David H. K., Harris, Sarah E., Davies, Gail, Franic, Sanja, Christoforou, Andrea, Zietsch, Brendan, Painter, Jodie, Medland, Sarah E., Ehli, Erik A., Davies, Gareth E., Steen, Vidar M., Lundervold, Astri J., Reinvang, Ivar, Montgomery, Grant W., Espeseth, Thomas, Pol, Hilleke E. Hulshoff, Starr, John M., Martin, Nicholas G., Le Hellard, Stephanie, Boomsma, Dorret I., Deary, Ian J. and Wright, Margaret J. (2015) Genetic basis of a cognitive complexity metric. PLoS One, 10 4: 1-19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123886

Author Hansell, Narelle K.
Halford, Graeme S.
Andrews, Glenda
Shum, David H. K.
Harris, Sarah E.
Davies, Gail
Franic, Sanja
Christoforou, Andrea
Zietsch, Brendan
Painter, Jodie
Medland, Sarah E.
Ehli, Erik A.
Davies, Gareth E.
Steen, Vidar M.
Lundervold, Astri J.
Reinvang, Ivar
Montgomery, Grant W.
Espeseth, Thomas
Pol, Hilleke E. Hulshoff
Starr, John M.
Martin, Nicholas G.
Le Hellard, Stephanie
Boomsma, Dorret I.
Deary, Ian J.
Wright, Margaret J.
Title Genetic basis of a cognitive complexity metric
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2015-04
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0123886
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Relational complexity (RC) is a metric reflecting capacity limitation in relational processing. It plays a crucial role in higher cognitive processes and is an endophenotype for several disorders. However, the genetic underpinnings of complex relational processing have not been investigated. Using the classical twin model, we estimated the heritability of RC and genetic overlap with intelligence (IQ), reasoning, and working memory in a twin and sibling sample aged 15-29 years (N = 787). Further, in an exploratory search for genetic loci contributing to RC, we examined associated genetic markers and genes in our Discovery sample and selected loci for replication in four independent samples (ALSPAC, LBC1936, NTR, NCNG), followed by meta-analysis (N>6500) at the single marker level. Twin modelling showed RC is highly heritable (67%), has considerable genetic overlap with IQ (59%), and is a major component of genetic covariation between reasoning and working memory (72%). At the molecular level, we found preliminary support for four single-marker loci (one in the gene DGKB), and at a gene-based level for the NPS gene, having influence on cognition. These results indicate that genetic sources influencing relational processing are a key component of the genetic architecture of broader cognitive abilities. Further, they suggest a genetic cascade, whereby genetic factors influencing capacity limitation in relational processing have a flow-on effect to more complex cognitive traits, including reasoning and working memory, and ultimately, IQ.
Keyword Genomewide Association Scans
Netherlands Twin Register
Prefrontal Cortex
Transitive Inference
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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