Journal article

The correlation between reading and mathematics ability at age twelve has a substantial genetic component

Oliver SP Davis, Gavin Band, Matti Pirinen, Claire MA Haworth, Emma L Meaburn, Yulia Kovas, Nicole Harlaar, Sophia J Docherty, Ken B Hanscombe, Maciej Trzaskowski, Charles JC Curtis, Amy Strange, Colin Freeman, Celine Bellenguez, Zhan Su, Richard Pearson, Damjan Vukcevic, Cordelia Langford, Panos Deloukas, Sarah Hunt Show all

Nature Communications | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2014

Abstract

Dissecting how genetic and environmental influences impact on learning is helpful for maximizing numeracy and literacy. Here we show, using twin and genome-wide analysis, that there is a substantial genetic component to children's ability in reading and mathematics, and estimate that around one half of the observed correlation in these traits is due to shared genetic effects (so-called Generalist Genes). Thus, our results highlight the potential role of the learning environment in contributing to differences in a child's cognitive abilities at age twelve.

University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 project


Awarded by UK Medical Research Council


Awarded by Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust


Awarded by Academy of Finland


Awarded by European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award


Awarded by Wellcome Trust


Awarded by Medical Research Council


Awarded by National Institute for Health Research


Awarded by EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT


Awarded by EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH &HUMAN DEVELOPMENT


Funding Acknowledgements

Funding for this study was provided by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 project (085475/B/08/Z and 085475/Z/08/Z) and TEDS is supported by a program grant from the UK Medical Research Council (G0901245). The UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust (Grant ref: 092731) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. O.S.P. Davis was supported by a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust (WT088984). M. Pirinen is supported by the Academy of Finland (257654). C.M.A. Haworth was supported by a research fellowship from the British Academy. R. Plomin was supported by a research professorship from the UK Medical Research Council (G19/2) and a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award (295366). P. Donnelly was supported in part by a Wolfson-Royal Society Merit Award. C.C.A. Spencer was supported by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship [097364/Z/11/Z], and work was supported in part by Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics core grants 090532/Z/09/Z and 075491/Z/04/B. We acknowledge use of the British 1958 Birth Cohort DNA collection funded by the Medical Research Council (grant G0000934) and the Wellcome Trust (grant 068545/Z/02), and the UK National Blood Service controls funded by the Wellcome Trust. E Bramon holds a Medical Research Council new investigator award. We also thank the National Institutes of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with King's College London.