DNA evidence for strong genome-wide pleiotropy of cognitive and learning abilities

Trzaskowski, Maciej, Davis, Oliver S. P., DeFries, John C., Yang, Jian, Visscher, Peter M. and Plomin, Robert (2013) DNA evidence for strong genome-wide pleiotropy of cognitive and learning abilities. Behavior Genetics, 43 4: 267-273. doi:10.1007/s10519-013-9594-x

Author Trzaskowski, Maciej
Davis, Oliver S. P.
DeFries, John C.
Yang, Jian
Visscher, Peter M.
Plomin, Robert
Title DNA evidence for strong genome-wide pleiotropy of cognitive and learning abilities
Journal name Behavior Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0001-8244
Publication date 2013-07-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10519-013-9594-x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 43
Issue 4
Start page 267
End page 273
Total pages 7
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
1311 Genetics
2716 Genetics (clinical)
Abstract Very different neurocognitive processes appear to be involved in cognitive abilities such as verbal and non-verbal ability as compared to learning abilities taught in schools such as reading and mathematics. However, twin studies that compare similarity for monozygotic and dizygotic twins suggest that the same genes are largely responsible for genetic influence on these diverse aspects of cognitive function. It is now possible to test this evidence for strong pleiotropy using DNA alone from samples of unrelated individuals. Here we used this new method with 1.7 million DNA markers for a sample of 2,500 unrelated children at age 12 to investigate for the first time the extent of pleiotropy between general cognitive ability (aka intelligence) and learning abilities (reading, mathematics and language skills). We also compared these DNA results to results from twin analyses using the same sample and measures. The DNA-based method revealed strong genome-wide pleiotropy: Genetic correlations were greater than 0.70 between general cognitive ability and language, reading, and mathematics, results that were highly similar to twin study estimates of genetic correlations. These results indicate that genes related to diverse neurocognitive processes have general rather than specific effects.
Keyword Pleiotropy
Learning abilities
Common Snps Explain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID G0901245
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 23 April 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 29 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 25 Jul 2013, 21:36:20 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute