I just saw these articles:
- About half of kids' learning ability is in their DNA, study says
- The correlation between reading and mathematics ability at age twelve has a substantial genetic component
The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, used nearly 1,500 pairs of 12-year-old twins to tease apart the effects of genetic inheritance and environmental variables on math and reading ability. Twin studies provide a clever way of assessing the balance of nature versus nurture.
Here’s the abstract:
Dissecting how genetic and environmental influences impact on learning is helpful for maximizing numeracy and literacy. Here we show, using twin and genome-wide analysis, that there is a substantial genetic component to children’s ability in reading and mathematics, and estimate that around one half of the observed correlation in these traits is due to shared genetic effects (so-called Generalist Genes). Thus, our results highlight the potential role of the learning environment in contributing to differences in a child’s cognitive abilities at age twelve.
This is interesting:
“If you found genes for reading,” Plomin said, “you have over a 50% chance that those same genes would influence math.”