Multivariate genetic analysis of cognitive abilities in an adolescent twin sample

M Luciano, M J Wright, G M Geffen, L B Geffen, G A Smith, N G Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The sources of covariation among cognitive measures of Inspection Time, Choice Reaction Time, Delayed Response Speed and Accuracy, and IQ were examined in a classical twin design that included 245 monozygotic (MZ) and 298 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs. Results indicated that a factor model comprising additive genetic and unique environmental effects was the most parsimonious. In this model, a general genetic cognitive factor emerged with factor loadings ranging from 0.28 to 0.64. Three other genetic factors explained the remaining genetic covariation between various speed and Delayed Response measures with IQ. However, a large proportion of the genetic variation in verbal (54%) and performance (25%) IQ was unrelated to these lower order cognitive measures. The independent genetic IQ variation may reflect information processes not captured by the elementary cognitive tasks, Inspection Time and Choice Reaction Time, nor our working memory task, Delayed Response. Unique environmental effects were mostly nonoverlapping, and partly represented test measurement error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

Keywords

  • COLORADO-ADOPTION-PROJECT
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • REACTION-TIME
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • PROCESSING-SPEED
  • INSPECTION TIME
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • IQ
  • HERITABILITY
  • PERFORMANCE

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