Scientists have found the gene that makes your cerebral cortex thick and thus increases your intelligence.
What makes some smarter than others?
For years scientists have been trying to figure out what makes some people smarter than others. Now a research team from Kings College London in Great Britain has found the answer in the jumble of genes.
In 2014, a team led by Sylvane Desrivières analyzed the DNA of 1583 teenagers and conducted an IQ test for them. In addition, the thickness of their brain cortex was measured with a brain scanner.
The children with the lowest intelligence had a certain variant of the NPTN gene and a slightly thinner cerebral cortex in the left hemisphere.
Fat bark increases your intelligence
The nerve cells form connections in the cerebral cortex. The area is similar to the processor of a computer, which performs all complex calculations.
In children with a thin cortex, the brain has less computing power, so it may be true that they have a lower intelligence.
Gene regulates brain cortex growth
Sylvane Desrivières then tried to figure out exactly what role the NPTN gene plays, and when she saw the results of a number of studies of mice and humans, the puzzle pieces fell into place.
The gene appeared to play an important role for the ability of the nerve cells to make connections, making the cortex thicker and able to process more complex nerve signals.
But in the variant of the children with lower intelligence, the NPTN gene had no effect in the left hemisphere and the cerebral cortex remained thinner.
A properly functioning NPTN gene thus contributes to the computational capacity of the brain by increasing the cortex.
Other genes also contribute to intelligence
Since then, other researchers have discovered that the NPTN gene is not the only one that affects intelligence. For example, other genes promote the production of white matter, which makes the brain more effective and the owner more intelligent.
Test your own IQ with our large, free IQ test.
Genes and intelligence
Two scientists from Kings College London in Great Britain investigated the link between intelligence and genes.
They mapped 1.7 million genetic markers in the chromosomes of 2875 children and compared them with the results of an IQ test that the children had done when they were 7 and 12 years old.
The analysis revealed a clear link between intelligence and a number of these genetic markers.
Genes become more important as you get older
The research also showed that the importance of the genes increases with age.
Among the 7-year-olds, the genes accounted for only 26% of the intelligence, but five years later the importance of the genes had risen to 45%.
There are indications that the genes are 80% of the intelligence of