Intelligence: genetics, genes, and genomics

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Jan;86(1):112-29. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.86.1.112.


More is known about the genetics of intelligence than about any other trait, behavioral or biological, which is selectively reviewed in this article. Two of the most interesting genetic findings are that heritability of intelligence increases throughout the life span and that the same genes affect diverse cognitive abilities. The most exciting direction for genetic research on intelligence is to harness the power of the Human Genome Project to identify some of the specific genes responsible for the heritability of intelligence. The next research direction will be functional genomics--for example, understanding the brain pathways between genes and intelligence. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) will integrate life sciences research on intelligence; bottom-up molecular biological research will meet top-down psychological research in the brain.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Biology / methods*