Gene: IQ

Source: Switched-on genes mean a higher IQ, 03-03-2007

A GENE that could make up to 20 points difference between people’s IQs has been identified by psychiatrists at Washington University.

The scientists examined a gene called CHRM2 and found that it influences a particular kind of intelligence, called performance IQ, which determines people’s ability to organise things logically and have good spatial awarness. People with high performance IQs tend to be whizzes at chess and puzzles.

The investigators report in Behavioral Genetics that the more “positive” variations on the gene a person has, the greater a beneficial effect it can have on your IQ. The gene activates a multitude of signalling paths in the brain involved in learning, memory and other higher brain functions. Each positive variation on CHRM2 seems to raise IQ by up to four points.

Professor Danielle Dick, the lead author, says that a person with all the positive variations switched on would have up to 20 points more IQ than someone who had them all turned off.

Professor Dick says that the possibility of two people with such extreme variations of the gene ever meeting, however, would be statistically unlikely. She adds that CHMR2 is most probably not the only gene involved in raising IQ: up to 100 more might yet be awaiting discovery.

More here.

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