Genotype by environment interactions in cognitive ability: a survey of 14 studies from four countries covering four age groups

Dylan Molenaar, Sophie van der Sluis, Dorret I Boomsma, Claire M A Haworth, John K Hewitt, Nicholas G Martin, Robert Plomin, Margaret J Wright, Conor V Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A large part of the variation in cognitive ability is known to be due to genetic factors. Researchers have tried to identify modifiers that influence the heritability of cognitive ability, indicating a genotype by environment interaction (G×E). To date, such modifiers include measured variables like income and socioeconomic status. The present paper focuses on G×E in cognitive ability where the environmental variable is an unmeasured environmental factor that is uncorrelated in family members. We examined this type of G×E in the GHCA-database (Haworth et al., Behav Genet 39:359-370, 2009), which comprises data of 14 different cognition studies from four different countries including participants of different ages. Results indicate that for younger participants (4-13 years), the strength of E decreases across the additive genetic factor A, but that this effect reverts for older participants (17-34 years). However, a clear and general conclusion about the presence of a genuine G×E is hampered by differences between the individual studies with respect to environmental and genetic influences on cognitive ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-19
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Young Adult

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    Molenaar, D., van der Sluis, S., Boomsma, D. I., Haworth, C. M. A., Hewitt, J. K., Martin, N. G., Plomin, R., Wright, M. J., & Dolan, C. V. (2013). Genotype by environment interactions in cognitive ability: a survey of 14 studies from four countries covering four age groups. Behavior Genetics, 43(3), 208-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-012-9581-7