The Relationship Between Genetics and Intelligence Essay

898 WordsDec 13, 20124 Pages
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENETICS AND INTELLIGENCE By Kutemba Mukanda Genetics is the passing down of traits from generation to generation while intelligence is the ability to gain and apply knowledge and skills. According to an article written by Robert Plomin, he talks about the importance of genetics and intelligence in the development of talents. He states that “most of what is currently known about the genetics of intelligence comes from twin and adoption studies, which have shown importance and substantial genetic influence. The article provides research findings displaying the influence of genetic factors on talent development. Although the term talent development has different meanings to different people, talent must definitely include intelligence. The word intelligence is almost likely to cause disagreements in the field of gifted education as is genetics. Nature or nurture; which plays a larger role in one’s intellectual aptitude, and ultimately, in the person they will become? A recent study seems to have tipped the scales in favour of nature. In an international collaboration known as ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis), a team of over 200 researchers discerned several specific genes that are directly linked to IQ and brain volume of an individual. Though many scientists have previously suggested a correlation between brain size and intelligence, this study is yet to find a connection between genetics and brain size and IQ. With clear brain scans and genetic data from 21,151 people of European descent living in North America, Europe and Australia, the team behind Project ENIGMA was able to link specified genes to brain size — an important factor in not only intelligence, but also in many mental illness humans suffer as we age. These include Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, autism and dementia. The
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