Pathfinder: A gamified measure to integrate general cognitive ability into the biological, medical and behavioural sciences
Andrea Giuseppe Allegrini,
Stuart J. Ritchie,
Philip S. Dale,
Thalia C Eley,
Sophie von Stumm,
Posted 10 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.10.430571
Posted 10 Feb 2021
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have uncovered DNA variants associated with individual differences in general cognitive ability (g), but these are far from capturing heritability estimates obtained from twin studies. A major barrier is measurement heterogeneity. In a series of four studies, we created a 15-minute, online, gamified measure of g that is highly reliable, psychometrically valid and scalable. In a fifth study, we administered this measure to 4,751 young adults from the Twins Early Development Study. This novel g measure, which also yields verbal and nonverbal scores, showed substantial twin heritability (57%) and SNP heritability (37%). A polygenic score computed from GWA studies of five cognitive and educational traits accounted for 12% of the variation in g, the strongest DNA-based prediction of g to date. Widespread use of this engaging new measure will advance research not only in genomics but throughout the biological, medical and behavioural sciences.
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