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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2005;28:1-23.

Genetics of brain structure and intelligence.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Genetic influences on brain morphology and IQ are well studied. A variety of sophisticated brain-mapping approaches relating genetic influences on brain structure and intelligence establishes a regional distribution for this relationship that is consistent with behavioral studies. We highlight those studies that illustrate the complex cortical patterns associated with measures of cognitive ability. A measure of cognitive ability, known as g, has been shown highly heritable across many studies. We argue that these genetic links are partly mediated by brain structure that is likewise under strong genetic control. Other factors, such as the environment, obviously play a role, but the predominant determinant appears to be genetic.

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