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Behav Genet. 2001 Mar;31(2):209-17.

Heritability estimates of intelligence in twins: effect of chorion type.

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  • 1Center for Human Genetics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


This study investigates the basic assumption of homogeneity of monozygotic (MZ) twins: are there differences according to the timing of the zygotic splitting, early in dichorionic (DC) and later in monochorionic (MC) pairs? We assessed the IQ of 451 same-sexed twin pairs of known zygosity and chorion type with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R). The variances of within-pair differences were compared for monochorionic (MC), dichorionic monozygotic (DC-MZ) and dizygotic same-sexed (DZ) twins and structural equation modeling was applied. High heritability estimates were found for almost all subscales and IQ-scores. A significant effect of chorion type was found: the MC twins resembled each other more than the DC-MZ twins on the subscales Arithmetic and Vocabulary. The effect accounts for respectively 14% and 10% of the total variance.

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