Whole genome association scan for genetic polymorphisms influencing information processing speed

Michelle Luciano, Narelle K Hansell, Jari Lahti, Gail Davies, Sarah E Medland, Katri Räikkönen, Albert Tenesa, Elisabeth Widen, Kevin A McGhee, Aarno Palotie, David Liewald, David J Porteous, John M Starr, Grant W Montgomery, Nicholas G Martin, Johan G Eriksson, Margaret J Wright, Ian J Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Processing speed is an important cognitive function that is compromised in psychiatric illness (e.g., schizophrenia, depression) and old age; it shares genetic background with complex cognition (e.g., working memory, reasoning). To find genes influencing speed we performed a genome-wide association scan in up to three cohorts: Brisbane (mean age 16 years; N = 1659); LBC1936 (mean age 70 years, N = 992); LBC1921 (mean age 82 years, N = 307), and; HBCS (mean age 64 years, N =1080). Meta-analysis of the common measures highlighted various suggestively significant (p < 1.21 × 10⁻⁵) SNPs and plausible candidate genes (e.g., TRIB3). A biological pathways analysis of the speed factor identified two common pathways from the KEGG database (cell junction, focal adhesion) in two cohorts, while a pathway analysis linked to the GO database revealed common pathways across pairs of speed measures (e.g., receptor binding, cellular metabolic process). These highlighted genes and pathways will be able to inform future research, including results for psychiatric disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Information processing speed
  • Cognitive ability
  • Genes
  • Biological pathways


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