Face recognition ability inherited separately from IQ

January, 2010

Providing support for a modular concept of the brain, a twin study has found that face recognition is heritable, and that it is inherited separately from IQ.

No surprise to me (I’m hopeless at faces), but a twin study has found that face recognition is heritable, and that it is inherited separately from IQ. The findings provide support for a modular concept of the brain, suggesting that some cognitive abilities, like face recognition, are shaped by specialist genes rather than generalist genes. The study used 102 pairs of identical twins and 71 pairs of fraternal twins aged 7 to 19 from Beijing schools to calculate that 39% of the variance between individuals on a face recognition task is attributable to genetic effects. In an independent sample of 321 students, the researchers found that face recognition ability was not correlated with IQ.

Reference: 

Zhu, Q. et al. 2010. Heritability of the specific cognitive ability of face perception. Current Biology, 20 (2), 137-142.

Related News

A study involving 218 participants aged 18-88 has looked at the effects of age on the brain activity of participants viewing an edited version of a 1961 Hitchcock TV episode (given that participants viewed the movie while in a MRI machine, the 25 minute episode was condensed to 8 minutes).

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the importance of mindset in learning, with those who have a “growth mindset” (ie believe that intelligence can be developed) being more academically successful than those who believe that intelligence is a fixed attribute.

Because this is such a persistent myth, I thought I should briefly report on this massive study that should hopefully put an end to this myth once and for all (I wish! Myths are not so easily squashed.)

Data from 1.1 million young Swedish men (conscription information taken at age 18) has shown that those with poorer cardiovascular fitness were 2.5 times more likely to develop early-onset dementia later in life and 3.5 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, while those with a l

By using brain scans from 152 Vietnam veterans with a variety of combat-related brain injuries, researchers claim to have mapped the neural basis of general intelligence and emotional intelligence.

What underlies differences in fluid intelligence? How are smart brains different from those that are merely ‘average’?

A large long-running New Zealand study has found that people who started using cannabis in adolescence and continued to use it for years afterward showed a significant decline in IQ from age 13 to 38. This was true even in those who hadn’t smoked marijuana for some years.

Grasp of fractions and long division predicts later math success

Previous research has pointed to a typical decline in our sense of control as we get older. Maintaining a sense of control, however, appears to be a key factor in successful aging.

This is another demonstration of stereotype threat, which is also a nice demonstration of the contextual nature of intelligence. The study involved 70 volunteers (average age 25; range 18-49), who were put in groups of 5.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health news