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Intelligence comes from parents

world Updated: Aug 11, 2011 00:47 IST

No doubt, your upbringing and education contribute to your brain power, but a new study says that half of one’s intelligence comes from parents.

Researchers have found that up to half of a person’s intelligence (or lack of it) is inherited, after they examined the blood of more than 3,500 people from England and Scotland for half-a-million genetic markers — tiny changes in DNA.

Analysis of these results and those of intelligence tests completed by the study’s participants revealed 40 % of the differences in “crystallised-type intelligence” — ability to acquire knowledge and skills over years — were in genes.

So-called fluid-type intelligence, the ability to reason and think abstractly under pressure, was governed by genetics to an even greater extent.

Some 51 % of one’s ability to “think outside the box” is down to DNA, the ‘Molecular Psychiatry’ journal reported.

Lead researcher Ian Deary at University of Edinburgh was quoted by the ‘Daily Mail’ as saying, “Individual differences in intelligence are strongly associated with many important life outcomes, including educational and occupational attainments, income, health and lifespan.”