Finding genetic factors associated with cognitive abilities




genetic factors, cognitive abilities, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, candidate genes


The article provides an overview of the results of modern genetic studies of human cognitive abilities. Finding genetic factors, associated with cognitive abilities, will have far-reaching ramifications at all levels of understanding from DNA to brain and to behavior. Despite its complexity, cognitive ability is a reasonable candidate for molecular genetic research because it is one of the most heritable features of behavior. The first attempts to find genetic factors, associated with cognitive abilities, focused on genes, involved in brain development and function, but this direction proved to be unproductive, as it turned out that there are about 18.000 genes, and it was too difficult to detect among them those genes that are involved in cognitive processes. In addition, a considerable number of genetic factors of human traits are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which are in non-coding DNA regions rather than in traditional genes. The effect of each separate SNP is unimportant, and a clear expression of the general cognitive ability is noticeable only if all the associated SNPs are involved. Currently, over 11,000 such SNPs have been identified, which are uneven in different functional regions of the genome: over 60 % in gene introns, almost 30 % in intergenic DNA regions, about 5 % in gene exons, and about 5 % in transcribed regions (downstream, upstream) and frame regions (UTR'5, UTR'3) of genes. Also there are found 74 SNPs, associated with school achievements. These SNPs are disproportionately located in genes that regulate transcription and alternative splicing of other genes, which are expressed in nerve tissues of the brain during its prenatal development. Finding genetic factors that explain the inheritance of cognitive abilities is important for both science and society. Information about these factors can be used in other fields of human science – human genetics and medicine. It will open up new scientific horizons for education too owing to understanding of the genetic aspects of learning and memory

Author Biographies

Valentyn Pomohaibo, Poltava V. G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University

PhD, Professor-Consultant

Department of Special Education and Social Work

Natalia Karapuzova, Poltava V. G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University

PhD, Professor

Department of Elementary Education, Natural and Mathematical Disciplines and Methods of Teaching

Yuliia Pavlenko, Poltava V. G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University

PhD, Associate Professor

Department of Elementary Education, Natural and Mathematical Disciplines and Methods of Teaching


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How to Cite

Pomohaibo, V., Karapuzova, N., & Pavlenko, Y. (2021). Finding genetic factors associated with cognitive abilities. ScienceRise: Pedagogical Education, (6 (45), 29–34.



Pedagogical Education