Research press release


Nature Communications

Genetics: Mathematics and reading ability have a shared genetic component



今回、ウェルカムトラスト・ケースコントロールコンソーシアム(Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium)とRobert Plominたちのグループは、イングランドとウェールズの12歳の子どものデータ(双生児のデータと非血縁者のデータの両方を含む)を用いて、計算力と読解力に対する遺伝的要因の寄与度に関する包括的解析を共同で行った。認知能力の測定は、確立された読解力と流暢性の試験と英国ナショナルカリキュラムに基づく数学問題を用いて実施された。


Children’s abilities in reading and mathematics have a large and overlapping genetic component, reports a study in Nature Communications this week. The study highlights the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits and the important role that learning environment may have on the development of numeracy and literacy skills.

Cognitive traits have a significant socio-economic impact and increased cognitive ability has been shown to be associated with increased wealth and life expectancy. While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown.

The Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium, in collaboration with Robert Plomin and colleagues, have carried out a comprehensive analysis of the contribution of genetics to numeracy and literacy skills in English and Welsh children, aged 12, using data from twins as well as unrelated children. Cognitive ability was measured using established tests of reading comprehension and fluency, as well as mathematics questions based on the UK National Curriculum.

The team estimate that roughly half the genes that influence reading also play a role in a child’s mathematics performance. This finding suggests that both a child’s learning environment as well as their genetic make-up contribute to the similarity in their reading and mathematics abilities.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms5204

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