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Genes Brain Behav. 2019 Apr;18(4):e12530. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12530. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

A QTL on chromosome 3q23 influences processing speed in humans.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute and Department of Human Genetics, University of Texas of the Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Brownsville, Texas.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.
Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Olin Neuropsychiatric Research Center, Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut.


Processing speed is a psychological construct that refers to the speed with which an individual can perform any cognitive operation. Processing speed correlates strongly with general cognitive ability, declines sharply with age and is impaired across a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Thus, identifying genes that influence processing speed will likely improve understanding of the genetics of intelligence, biological aging and the etiologies of numerous disorders. Previous genetics studies of processing speed have relied on simple phenotypes (eg, mean reaction time) derived from single tasks. This strategy assumes, erroneously, that processing speed is a unitary construct. In the present study, we aimed to characterize the genetic architecture of processing speed by using a multidimensional model applied to a battery of cognitive tasks. Linkage and QTL-specific association analyses were performed on the factors from this model. The randomly ascertained sample comprised 1291 Mexican-American individuals from extended pedigrees. We found that performance on all three distinct processing-speed factors (Psychomotor Speed; Sequencing and Shifting and Verbal Fluency) were moderately and significantly heritable. We identified a genome-wide significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 3q23 for Psychomotor Speed (LOD = 4.83). Within this locus, we identified a plausible and interesting candidate gene for Psychomotor Speed (Z = 2.90, P = 1.86 × 10-03 ).


association; cognition; genetics; linkage; processing speed

[Available on 2020-04-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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