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Behav Genet. 2009 Jul;39(4):417-26. doi: 10.1007/s10519-009-9275-y. Epub 2009 May 6.

Genetic covariation between theAuthor Recognition Test and reading and verbal abilities: what can we learn from the analysis of high performance?

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  • 1Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


The Author Recognition Test (ART) measures print exposure and is a unique predictor of phonological and orthographic processes in reading. In a sample of adolescent and young adult twins and siblings (216 MZ/430 DZ pairs, 307 singletons; aged 11-29 years) ART scores were moderately heritable (67%) and correlated with reading and verbal abilities, with genes largely accounting for the covariance. We also examine whether high (and low) (i.e. 1SD above the mean) represents a quantitative extreme of the normal distribution. Heritability for high ART was of similar magnitude to the full sample, but, a specific genetic factor, independent from both low ART performance and high reading ability, accounted for 53-58% of the variance. This suggests a distinct genetic etiology for high ART ability and we speculate that the specific genetic influence is on orthographical processing, a critical factor in developing word recognition skills.

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