Genetics of brain function and cognition

Eco, D., Wright, M. J., Martin, N. G. and Boomsa, D. I. (2001) Genetics of brain function and cognition. Behavior Genetics, 31 6: 498-500. doi:10.1023/A:1013360909048

Author Eco, D.
Wright, M. J.
Martin, N. G.
Boomsa, D. I.
Title Genetics of brain function and cognition
Journal name Behavior Genetics
ISSN 0001-88244
Publication date 2001-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1023/A:1013360909048
Volume 31
Issue 6
Start page 498
End page 500
Total pages 3
Place of publication USA
Publisher Kluwer Academic - Plenum Publishers
Language eng
Subject C1
270210 Neurogenetics
380102 Learning, Memory, Cognition and Language
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
Abstract There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of substantial genetic influences on individual differences in general and specific cognitive abilities, especially in adults. The actual localization and identification of genes underlying variation in cognitive abilities and intelligence has only just started, however. Successes are currently limited to neurological mutations with rather severe cognitive effects. The current approaches to trace genes responsible for variation in the normal ranges of cognitive ability consist of large scale linkage and association studies. These are hampered by the usual problems of low statistical power to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) of small effect. One strategy to boost the power of genomic searches is to employ endophenotypes of cognition derived from the booming field of cognitive neuroscience This special issue of Behavior Genetics reports on one of the first genome-wide association studies for general IQ. A second paper summarizes candidate genes for cognition, based on animal studies. A series of papers then introduces two additional levels of analysis in the ldquoblack boxrdquo between genes and cognitive ability: (1) behavioral measures of information-processing speed (inspection time, reaction time, rapid naming) and working memory capacity (performance on on single or dual tasks of verbal and spatio-visual working memory), and (2) electrophyiosological derived measures of brain function (e.g., event-related potentials). The obvious way to assess the reliability and validity of these endophenotypes and their usefulness in the search for cognitive ability genes is through the examination of their genetic architecture in twin family studies. Papers in this special issue show that much of the association between intelligence and speed-of-information processing/brain function is due to a common gene or set of genes, and thereby demonstrate the usefulness of considering these measures in gene-hunting studies for IQ.
Keyword Genetics
Twin studies
Processing speed
Working memory
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 44 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 49 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 01:51:21 EST