Where is the heritability of intelligence hidden in our genes?

From experience to meaning...

I’m quite sure that the title of this post may have upset some people already. The reason is that both heritability and intelligence can be regarded as problematic concepts by even researchers. Still, bear with me, because this new study is quite intriguing.

The following key points actually describe a steep evolution in our knowledge about both the genetic and heritability components of our intelligence (which aren’t synonyms to be clear):

  • Until 2017, genome-wide polygenic scores derived from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of intelligence were able to predict only 1% of the variance in intelligence in independent samples.
  • Polygenic scores derived from GWAS of intelligence can now predict 4% of the variance in intelligence.
  • More than 10% of the variance in intelligence can be predicted by multipolygenic scores derived from GWAS of both intelligence and years of education. This accounts for more than 20% of the 50% heritability of intelligence.

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