A Review of Intelligence GWAS Hits: Their Relationship to Country IQ

Davide Piffer, Figshare, April 24, 2015


A review of published intelligence GWA studies was carried out.The average frequency (polygenic score) of nine alleles positively associated with intelligence is strongly correlated to country IQ (r= 0.91). Factor analysis of allele frequencies produced a factor with a similar correlation to IQ (0.86).The majority of alleles (7/9) loaded positively on this factor. Allele frequencies varied by continent in a way that matched the average group-level of phenotypic intelligence. Average allele frequencies for intelligence GWAS hits had higher inter-population variability than background expectations or height GWAS hits. This may suggest stronger selection for intelligence than human height. Random sets of SNPs and Fst distances were employed to deal with the issue of spatial autocorrelation, due to population structure. GWAS hits were much stronger predictors of IQ than random SNPs. Regressing IQ on Fst distances did not significantly alter the results but it confirmed that, whilst evolutionarily neutral (genome-wide) genetic distances are indeed related to IQ differences between populations, the GWAS hits frequencies predict the latter above and beyond the former.

[Editor’s Note: The full paper is available at the original article link below.]

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  • journey

    “This may suggest stronger selection for intelligence than human height.” It actually suggests the genes for intelligence is more restrictive racially than for height. For example, Asians (not from India) in general tend to be shorter than blacks but more intelligent than blacks. In other words, intelligence is genome coded in accordance to different racial groups which can only be altered by inter racial breeding. And it is always at the expense of the superior.

  • journey

    “why would interbreeding have to be “expensive”?” What do you mean?
    I would assume you are referring to my last sentence. So to clarify, when inferior genes breed with superior ones, the superior genes get suppressed.

  • guest

    Jensen’s review (1989) of Heber’s Milwaukee Project nor his references to Heber in THE “g” FACTOR do not suggest Jensen considered Heber a fake or crook. Heber was plenty brilliant enough and resourceful to have understood by the mid 80’s that “Jensenism” and “g” were vindicated as research hypotheses–and partly , as well, by the washout effects of much of the supposed early gains in the Milwaukee Project. There is some reason to speculate (absent checking into Jensen’s archives ) that Jensen traveled to Milwaukee-Madison sometime in 1967 and met with Heber and communicated easily and profitably with him ??