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Behav Genet. 1995 Sep;25(5):421-31.

Heritability of cognitive abilities in adult twins: comparison of Minnesota and Swedish data.

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Division of Social Sciences, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany 47150, USA.


Cross-sectional reports suggest heritability of cognitive ability increases throughout adulthood. To investigate this hypothesis, quantitative genetic analyses were conducted on four measures of cognitive ability (verbal, spatial, perceptual speed, memory). Data from Minnesota and Swedish twin studies of aging were compared. Heritability estimates and the factor structure of cognitive abilities could be equated across younger twins (age, 27-50) and middle-aged twins (age, 50-65) from both studies, suggesting stability of heritability during adulthood. The heritability of 81% for a general cognitive factor confirmed earlier findings of high heritability in younger and middle-aged samples. Older Swedish twins (age, 65-85) demonstrated significantly lower heritability estimates for cognitive abilities (54%) and a significantly different factor structure of cognitive ability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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