A large part of the variation in cognitive ability is known to be due to genetic factors. Researchers have tried to identify modifiers that influence the heritability of cognitive ability, indicating a genotype by environment interaction (G×E). To date, such modifiers include measured variables like income and socioeconomic status. The present paper focuses on G×E in cognitive ability where the environmental variable is an unmeasured environmental factor that is uncorrelated in family members. We examined this type of G×E in the GHCA-database (Haworth et al., Behav Genet 39:359-370, 2009), which comprises data of 14 different cognition studies from four different countries including participants of different ages. Results indicate that for younger participants (4-13 years), the strength of E decreases across the additive genetic factor A, but that this effect reverts for older participants (17-34 years). However, a clear and general conclusion about the presence of a genuine G×E is hampered by differences between the individual studies with respect to environmental and genetic influences on cognitive ability. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)