Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Psychol Gen. 2008 May;137(2):201-25. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.137.2.201.

Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in origin.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. naomi.friedman@colorado.edu

Abstract

Recent psychological and neuropsychological research suggests that executive functions--the cognitive control processes that regulate thought and action--are multifaceted and that different types of executive functions are correlated but separable. The present multivariate twin study of 3 executive functions (inhibiting dominant responses, updating working memory representations, and shifting between task sets), measured as latent variables, examined why people vary in these executive control abilities and why these abilities are correlated but separable from a behavioral genetic perspective. Results indicated that executive functions are correlated because they are influenced by a highly heritable (99%) common factor that goes beyond general intelligence or perceptual speed, and they are separable because of additional genetic influences unique to particular executive functions. This combination of general and specific genetic influences places executive functions among the most heritable psychological traits. These results highlight the potential of genetic approaches for uncovering the biological underpinnings of executive functions and suggest a need for examining multiple types of executive functions to distinguish different levels of genetic influences.

(c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

PMID:
18473654
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2762790
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (9)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure B1
Figure C1

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms

Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk