Reading a book upside-down and creating synonyms for the word "amazing" are two different skills. The thing that they have in common is that they both can measure general intelligence. General intelligence includes problem solving abilities, spatial manipulation and language acquisition. The study of intelligence has made many breakthroughs but has also been hampered with questions like how genes and environment interact to create one's general intelligence. Robert Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, has been conducting a study of just how influential your genes are on your intelligence. His research involves a study of thousands of children, asking them questions like "What do water and milk have in common?" Plomin will continue testing the children throughout childhood and into their teenage years. The trait that all of the children have in common is that they are all twins, and in twin studies researches can distinguish between the influences of environment from genetics. What he found was that the identical twins received closer scores than the non-identical twins did. I was interested in reading about what Dr. Plomin had discovered so I continued doing some research and found a new analysis of genes and intelligence. In the new analysis, researchers calculated that between 40 and 50 percent of individual differences in intelligence, both how much someone knows and how good they are at problem-solving, are due to genetic variations between people. The specific genes that effect intelligence have not yet been identified but this new study is the first that proves a significant amount comes from our genes.
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