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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

@Google: Genetics and Intelligence

I'll be giving a talk at Google tomorrow (Thursday August 18) at 5 pm. The slides are here. The video will probably be available on Google's TechTalk channel on YouTube, perhaps after some delay.

The Cognitive Genomics Lab at BGI is using this talk to kick off the drive for US participants in our intelligence GWAS. More information at, including automatic qualifying standards for the study, which are set just above +3 SD. Participants will receive free genotyping and help with interpreting the results. (The functional part of the site should be live after August 18.)

Title: Genetics and Intelligence

Abstract: How do genes affect cognitive ability? I begin with a brief review of psychometric measurements of intelligence, introducing the idea of a "general factor" or IQ score. The main results concern the stability, validity (predictive power), and heritability of adult IQ. Next, I discuss ongoing Genome Wide Association Studies which investigate the genetic basis of intelligence. Due mainly to the rapidly decreasing cost of sequencing, it is likely that within the next 5-10 years we will identify genes which account for a significant fraction of total IQ variation.

We are currently seeking volunteers for a study of high cognitive ability. Participants will receive free genotyping.

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