Complex variation in measures of general intelligence and cognitive change

Suzanne J Rowe, Amy Rowlatt, Gail Davies, Sarah E Harris, David J Porteous, David C Liewald, Geraldine McNeill, John M Starr, Ian J Deary, Albert Tenesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Combining information from multiple SNPs may capture a greater amount of genetic variation than from the sum of individual SNP effects and help identifying missing heritability. Regions may capture variation from multiple common variants of small effect, multiple rare variants or a combination of both. We describe regional heritability mapping of human cognition. Measures of crystallised (gc) and fluid intelligence (gf) in late adulthood (64-79 years) were available for 1806 individuals genotyped for 549,692 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The same individuals were tested at age 11, enabling us the rare opportunity to measure cognitive change across most of their lifespan. 547,750 SNPs ranked by position are divided into 10, 908 overlapping regions of 101 SNPs to estimate the genetic variance each region explains, an approach that resembles classical linkage methods. We also estimate the genetic variation explained by individual autosomes and by SNPs within genes. Empirical significance thresholds are estimated separately for each trait from whole genome scans of 500 permutated data sets. The 5% significance threshold for the likelihood ratio test of a single region ranged from 17-17.5 for the three traits. This is the equivalent to nominal significance under the expectation of a chi-squared distribution (between 1df and 0) of P
Original languageEnglish
Article number81189
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2013


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