Lyons+et+al.++2009 - Psychological Science...

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Psychological Science The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02425.x 2009 20: 1146 Psychological Science Schaie, Matthew S. Panizzon, Corwin Boake, Hong Xian, Rosemary Toomey, Seth A. Eisen and William S. Kremen Michael J. Lyons, Timothy P. York, Carol E. Franz, Michael D. Grant, Lindon J. Eaves, Kristen C. Jacobson, K. Warner Adulthood Genes Determine Stability and the Environment Determines Change in Cognitive Ability During 35 Years of Published by: On behalf of: Association for Psychological Science can be found at: Psychological Science Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: at UNIV CALIFORNIA IRVINE on September 24, 2010 pss.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Research Article Genes Determine Stability and the Environment Determines Change in Cognitive Ability During 35 Years of Adulthood Michael J. Lyons, 1 Timothy P. York, 2 Carol E. Franz, 3 Michael D. Grant, 1 Lindon J. Eaves, 2 Kristen C. Jacobson, 4 K. Warner Schaie, 5 Matthew S. Panizzon, 3 Corwin Boake, 6 Hong Xian, 7 Rosemary Toomey, 8 Seth A. Eisen, 7 and William S. Kremen 3 1 Boston University; 2 Virginia Commonwealth University; 3 University of California, San Diego; 4 University of Chicago; 5 University of Washington; 6 The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Houston, Texas; 7 Washington University School of Medicine; and 8 Harvard University ABSTRACT— Previous research has demonstrated stability of cognitive ability and marked heritability during adulthood, but questions remain about the extent to which genetic factors account for this stability. We conducted a 35-year longitudinal assessment of general cognitive ability using the Armed Forces Qualification Test administered to 7,232 male twins in early adulthood and readministered to a subset of 1,237 twins during late middle age. The proportion of variance in cognitive functioning explained by genetic factors was .49 in young adulthood and .57 in late middle age. The correlation between the two administrations was .74 with a genetic correlation of 1.0, indicating that the same genetic influences operated at both times. Genetic factors were primarily responsible for stability, and nonshared en- vironmental factors were primarily responsible for change. The genetic factors influencing cognition may change across other eras, but the same genetic influences are operating from early adulthood to late middle age. Spearman described a general factor common to many mental abilities that he called ‘‘ g ’’ (Neisser et al., 1996), which accounts for at least 50% of the variance across a range of mental tests and is one of the most replicated findings in psychology (Neisser et al., 1996). General cognitive ability correlates with numerous other characteristics, such as academic and occupational success (Neisser et al., 1996). There has been very little longitudinal,
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