Researchers identify genetic links to educational attainment

Researchers identify genetic links to educational attainment

NIH-funded study examines genetic influences on behavior.

An international team of researchers has identified 74 areas of the human genome associated with educational attainment. It is well known that social and other environmental factors influence education, but these findings, reported by the Social Science Genetics Association Consortium (SSGAC) and supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, suggest that large genetics analyses may be able to help discover biological pathways as well.

“It extends our understanding of the connection between the genetic components of cognition and years of formal education.”

Richard J. Hodes, M.D., Director, NIA

The genome-wide association study (GWAS) was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, both part of NIH, and appears in the May 11, 2016, issue of Nature.

“This is an interesting development in behavior genetics,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “It extends our understanding of the connection between the genetic components of cognition and years of formal education.”

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