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Behav Genet. 2001 Nov;31(6):581-92.

Genetic covariance among measures of information processing speed, working memory, and IQ.

Author information

1
Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia. michelLu@qimr.edu.au

Abstract

The genetic relationship between lower (information processing speed), intermediate (working memory), and higher levels (complex cognitive processes as indexed by IQ) of mental ability was studied in a classical twin design comprising 166 monozygotic and 190 dizygotic twin pairs. Processing speed was measured by a choice reaction time (RT) task (2-, 4-, and 8-choice), working memory by a visual-spatial delayed response task, and IQ by the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery. Multivariate analysis, adjusted for test-retest reliability, showed the presence of a genetic factor influencing all variables and a genetic factor influencing 4- and 8-choice RTs, working memory, and IQ. There were also genetic factors specific to 8-choice RT, working memory, and IQ. The results confirmed a strong relationship between choice RT and IQ (phenotypic correlations: -0.31 to -0.53 in females, -0.32 to -0.56 in males; genotypic correlations: -0.45 to -0.70) and a weaker but significant association between working memory and IQ (phenotypic: 0.26 in females, 0.13 in males; genotypic: 0.34). A significant part of the genetic variance (43%) in IQ was not related to either choice RT or delayed response performance, and may represent higher order cognitive processes.

PMID:
11838535
DOI:
10.1023/a:1013397428612
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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