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No evidence that polymorphisms of brain regulator genes Microcephalin and ASPM are associated with general mental ability, head circumference or altruism

By J. Philippe Rushton, Philip A Vernon and Trudy Ann Bons


We test the hypothesis that polymorphisms of the brain regulator genes MCPH1 and ASPM contribute to variations in human brain size and its correlates. We measured general mental ability, head circumference and social intelligence in 644 Canadian adults (496 Caucasians, 36 Orientals, 84 Mixed Race/Other and 28 Blacks; 257 men and 387 women). The gene polymorphisms were assessed from buccal DNA; mental ability by Wonderlic Personnel Test and Multidimensional Aptitude Battery; head circumference by stretchless tape; and social intelligence by prosocial attitude questionnaires. Although all measures were construct valid and the allele frequencies showed expected population differences, no relationship was found between the genes and any of the criteria. Among Caucasian 18–25 year olds, for example, the two mental ability tests correlated with each other (r=0.78, N=476, p<0.001), with head circumference (r=0.17, N=182, p<0.05) and with prosocial attitudes (r=0.23, N=182, p<0.001)

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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