Specific Genes Linked to Big Brains and Intelligence

Specific Genes Linked to Big Brains and Intelligence

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Brain size and smarts are, to some extent, genetic — and now, a team of more than 200 researchers has uncovered specific genes that are linked to both brain volume and IQ. Though scientists have suggested bigger brains are “smarter,” this study is the strongest case yet for a genetic connection to brain size and to IQ. Of course, brain size is not 100 percent correlated with a person’s intelligence, and other factors, including connections between brain cells and even a person’s experiences, play roles.

“We found fairly unequivocal proof supporting a genetic link to brain function and intelligence. For the first time, we have watertight evidence of how these genes affect the brain,” said lead researcher Paul Thompson, a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

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