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Dopamine markers and general cognitive ability

Ball, David1,6; Hill, Linzy1; Eley, Thalia C.1; Chorney, Michael J.2; Chorney, Karen3; Thompson, Lee A.4; Detterman, Douglas K.3; Benbow, Camilla4; Lubinski, David4; Owen, Michael5; McGuffin, Peter5; Plomin, Robert1

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

BECAUSE general cognitive ability (g) is among the most heritable behavioural traits, it is a reasonable target for a search for quantitative trait loci (QTLs). We used a selected-extremes design to test candidate genes for allelic association with g. Polymorphisms in four genes in the dopamine system (DRD2, DRD3, DRD4, DAT1) were genotyped for 51 high g children with IQ scores > 130 and for 51 average g control children. No significant allelic or genotypic differences were found between the high g and average g groups for these markers of the dopamine system, even though the selected-extremes design provides power to detect QTL associations that involve a relative risk of about 1.5.

1Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, DeCrespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8AF, UK

2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA 17033, USA

3Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

4Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011–3190, USA

5Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, CF4 4XN, UK

6Corresponding Author: David Ball

Website publication 16 January 1998

Received 21 October 1997; accepted 23 November 1997

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.