How important are our genes in determining intelligence?
A review on "the new genetics of intelligence"
A recently published review in Nature Reviews Genetics looks into the vexed issue of genetics and intelligence. As covered recently in our own pages by Annie Brookman-Byrne, there is little question that our DNA contributes to our cognitive abilities, and therefore to our school performance. Yet this hasn’t prevented consternation over the wisdom or desirability of knowing how our genetic makeup shapes learning, or more specifically, intelligence. As highlighted in the Nature Reviews Genetics article, improved methods and larger population cohorts are bringing us closer each year to a full accounting of the heritability of intelligence. Importantly, knowing more about the genetic determinants of intelligence (and other cognitive skills) can help us gauge the true contribution of environmental influences on learning—the ones we can directly control.