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Susceptibility to schizophrenia is inversely correlated with general cognitive ability at both the phenotypic and the genetic level. Paradoxically, a modest but consistent positive genetic correlation has been reported between schizophrenia and educational attainment, despite the strong positive genetic correlation between cognitive ability and educational attainment. Here we leverage published genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in cognitive ability, education, and schizophrenia to parse biological mechanisms underlying these results. Association analysis based on subsets (ASSET), a pleiotropic meta-analytic technique, allowed jointly associated loci to be identified and characterized. Specifically, we identified subsets of variants associated in the expected ("concordant") direction across all three phenotypes (i.e., greater risk for schizophrenia, lower cognitive ability, and lower educational attainment); these were contrasted with variants that demonstrated the counterintuitive ("discordant") relationship between education and schizophrenia (i.e., greater risk for schizophrenia and higher educational attainment). ASSET analysis revealed 235 independent loci associated with cognitive ability, education, and/or schizophrenia at p textless 5 × 10-8. Pleiotropic analysis successfully identified more than 100 loci that were not significant in the input GWASs. Many of these have been validated by larger, more recent single-phenotype GWASs. Leveraging the joint genetic correlations of cognitive ability, education, and schizophrenia, we were able to dissociate two distinct biological mechanisms-early neurodevelopmental pathways that characterize concordant allelic variation and adulthood synaptic pruning pathways-that were linked to the paradoxical positive genetic association between education and schizophrenia. Furthermore, genetic correlation analyses revealed that these mechanisms contribute not only to the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia but also to the broader biological dimensions implicated in both general health outcomes and psychiatric illness.

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General cognitive function is a prominent and relatively stable human trait that is associated with many important life outcomes. We combine cognitive and genetic data from the CHARGE and COGENT consortia, and UK Biobank (total N = 300,486; age 16– 102) and find 148 genome-wide significant independent loci (P textless 5 × 10-8) associated with general cognitive function. Within the novel genetic loci are variants associated with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, physical and psychiatric illnesses, and brain structure. Gene-based analyses find 709 genes associated with general cognitive function. Expression levels across the cortex are associated with general cognitive function. Using polygenic scores, up to 4.3% of variance in general cognitive function is predicted in independent samples. We detect significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity. In conclusion we identify novel genetic loci and pathways contributing to the heritability of general cognitive function.

© 2018 The Author(s). Intelligence is highly heritable1and a major determinant of human health and well-being2. Recent genome-wide meta-analyses have identified 24 genomic loci linked to variation in intelligence3-7, but much about its genetic underpinnings remains to be discovered. Here, we present a large-scale genetic association study of intelligence (n = 269,867), identifying 205 associated genomic loci (190 new) and 1,016 genes (939 new) via positional mapping, expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping, chromatin interaction mapping, and gene-based association analysis. We find enrichment of genetic effects in conserved and coding regions and associations with 146 nonsynonymous exonic variants. Associated genes are strongly expressed in the brain, specifically in striatal medium spiny neurons and hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Gene set analyses implicate pathways related to nervous system development and synaptic structure. We confirm previous strong genetic correlations with multiple health-related outcomes, and Mendelian randomization analysis results suggest protective effects of intelligence for Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD and bidirectional causation with pleiotropic effects for schizophrenia. These results are a major step forward in understanding the neurobiology of cognitive function as well as genetically related neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Here we conducted a large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment in a sample of approximately 1.1 million individuals and identify 1,271 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs. For the SNPs taken together, we found evidence of heterogeneous effects across environments. The SNPs implicate genes involved in brain-development processes and neuron-to-neuron communication. In a separate analysis of the X chromosome, we identify 10 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs and estimate a SNP heritability of around 0.3% in both men and women, consistent with partial dosage compensation. A joint (multi-phenotype) analysis of educational attainment and three related cognitive phenotypes generates polygenic scores that explain 11– 13% of the variance in educational attainment and 7– 10% of the variance in cognitive performance. This prediction accuracy substantially increases the utility of polygenic scores as tools in research.

The complex nature of human cognition has resulted in cognitive genomics lagging behind many other fields in terms of gene discovery using genome-wide association study (GWAS) methods. In an attempt to overcome these barriers, the current study utilized GWAS meta-analysis to examine the association of common genetic variation ($∼$8M single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with minor allele frequency $≥slant$ 1%) to general cognitive function in a sample of 35 298 healthy individuals of European ancestry across 24 cohorts in the Cognitive Genomics Consortium (COGENT). In addition, we utilized individual SNP lookups and polygenic score analyses to identify genetic overlap with other relevant neurobehavioral phenotypes. Our primary GWAS meta-analysis identified two novel SNP loci (top SNPs: rs76114856 in the CENPO gene on chromosome 2 and rs6669072 near LOC105378853 on chromosome 1) associated with cognitive performance at the genome-wide significance level (P o 5 × 10 - 8

Here, we present a large (n = 107,207) genome-wide association study (GWAS) of general cognitive ability (``g''), further enhanced by combining results with a large-scale GWAS of educational attainment. We identified 70 independent genomic loci associated with general cognitive ability. Results showed significant enrichment for genes causing Mendelian disorders with an intellectual disability phenotype. Competitive pathway analysis implicated the biological processes of neurogenesis and synaptic regulation, as well as the gene targets of two pharmacologic agents: cinnarizine, a T-type calcium channel blocker, and LY97241, a potassium channel inhibitor. Transcriptome-wide and epigenome-wide analysis revealed that the implicated loci were enriched for genes expressed across all brain regions (most strongly in the cerebellum). Enrichment was exclusive to genes expressed in neurons but not oligodendrocytes or astrocytes. Finally, we report genetic correlations between cognitive ability and disparate phenotypes including psychiatric disorders, several autoimmune disorders, longevity, and maternal age at first birth. Lam et al. conduct a large-scale genome-wide association study of cognitive ability, identifying 70 associated loci. Results provide biological insights into the molecular basis of individual differences in cognitive ability, as well as their relationship to psychiatric and other health-relevant phenotypes.

First-episode schizophrenia (FES) spectrum disorders are associated with pronounced cognitive dysfunction across all domains. However, less is known about the course of cognitive functioning, following the first presentation of psychosis, and the relationship of cognition to clinical course during initial treatment. The present longitudinal study examined the magnitude of neurocognitive impairment, using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, in patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis at baseline and after 12 weeks of randomized antipsychotic treatment with either aripiprazole or risperidone. At baseline, FES patients evidenced marked impairments in cognitive functioning. Notably, performance on the mazes task of planning and reasoning significantly predicted the likelihood of meeting stringent criteria for positive symptom remission during the first 12 weeks of the trial. Performance on indices of general cognitive function, working memory, and verbal learning improved over time, but these improvements were mediated by improvements in both positive and negative symptoms. We did not detect any differential effects of antipsychotic medication assignment (aripiprazole vs risperidone) on cognitive functioning. Our results suggest that a brief paper-and-pencil measure reflecting planning/reasoning abilities may index responsivity to antipsychotic medication. However, improvements in cognitive functioning over time were related to clinical symptom improvement, reflecting "pseudospecificity."

Cognitive deficits and reduced educational achievement are common in psychiatric illness; understanding the genetic basis of cognitive and educational deficits may be informative about the etiology of psychiatric disorders. A recent, large genome-wide association study (GWAS) reported a genome-wide significant locus for years of education, which subsequently demonstrated association to general cognitive ability ("g") in overlapping cohorts. The current study was designed to test whether GWAS hits for educational attainment are involved in general cognitive ability in an independent, large-scale collection of cohorts. Using cohorts in the Cognitive Genomics Consortium (COGENT; up to 20,495 healthy individuals), we examined the relationship between g and variants associated with educational attainment. We next conducted meta-analyses with 24,189 individuals with neurocognitive data from the educational attainment studies, and then with 53,188 largely independent individuals from a recent GWAS of cognition. A SNP (rs1906252) located at chromosome 6q16.1, previously associated with years of schooling, was significantly associated with g (P = 1.47 × 10(-4) ) in COGENT. The first joint analysis of 43,381 non-overlapping individuals for this a priori-designated locus was strongly significant (P = 4.94 × 10(-7) ), and the second joint analysis of 68,159 non-overlapping individuals was even more robust (P = 1.65 × 10(-9) ). These results provide independent replication, in a large-scale dataset, of a genetic locus associated with cognitive function and education. As sample sizes grow, cognitive GWAS will identify increasing numbers of associated loci, as has been accomplished in other polygenic quantitative traits, which may be relevant to psychiatric illness.

Here we provide novel convergent evidence across three independent cohorts of healthy adults (n = 531), demonstrating that a common polymorphism in the gene encoding the $α$2 subunit of neuronal voltage-gated type II sodium channels (SCN2A) predicts human general cognitive ability or "g." Using meta-analysis, we demonstrate that the minor T allele of a common polymorphism (rs10174400) in SCN2A is associated with significantly higher "g" independent of gender and age. We further demonstrate using resting-state fMRI data from our discovery cohort (n = 236) that this genetic advantage may be mediated by increased capacity for information processing between the dorsolateral pFC and dorsal ACC, which support higher cognitive functions. Collectively, these findings fill a gap in our understanding of the genetics of general cognitive ability and highlight a specific neural mechanism through which a common polymorphism shapes interindividual variation in "g."

We tested the hypothesis that dopamine D1 and D2 receptor gene (DRD1 and DRD2, respectively) polymorphisms and the development of working memory skills can interact to influence symptom change over 10 years in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Specifically, we examined whether improvements in working memory maintenance and manipulation from childhood to early adulthood predicted the reduction of ADHD symptoms as a function of allelic variation in DRD1 and DRD2. Participants were 76 7-11-year-old children with ADHD who were genotyped and prospectively followed for almost 10 years. ADHD symptoms were rated using the Attention Problems scale on the Child Behavior Checklist, and verbal working memory maintenance and manipulation, measured by Digit Span forward and backward, respectively, were assessed at baseline and follow-up. After correction for multiple testing, improvements in working memory manipulation, not maintenance, predicted reduction of symptomatology over development and was moderated by major allele homozygosity in two DRD1 polymorphisms (rs4532 and rs265978) previously linked with variation in D1 receptor expression. Depending on genetic background, developmental factors including age-dependent variation in DRD1 penetrance may facilitate the link between improvements in higher-order working memory and the remission of symptoms in individuals with childhood-diagnosed ADHD. Furthermore, the current findings suggest that DRD1 might contribute minimally to the emergence of symptoms and cognitive difficulties associated with ADHD in childhood, but may act as a modifier gene of these clinical features and outcome during later development for those with ADHD.

Background: This study examined neuropsychological functioning in a longitudinal sample of adolescents/young adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and controls as a function of the persistence of ADHD. We hypothesized that measures of executive processes would parallel adolescent clinical status, with ADHD-persisters, but not remitters, differing significantly from controls. In contrast, persisters and remitters were hypothesized to perform similarly, and different from controls, on tasks requiring less effortful processing. Methods: Ninety-eight participants diagnosed with ADHD in childhood were reevaluated approximately 10 years later. Eighty-five never-ADHD controls similar in age, IQ, and sex distribution served as a comparison group. Participants were administered a psychiatric interview and neuropsychological test battery. Results: Those with childhood ADHD demonstrated broad neuropsychological deficits relative to controls. When the group with childhood ADHD was subdivided based on adolescent ADHD status, compared to controls, both persisters and remitters showed deficient perceptual sensitivity and response variability, and increased ankle movements recorded by a solid-state actigraph. Only persisters differed from controls on several measures of more effortful executive processes. Conclusions: Findings provide preliminary support to the hypothesis that ADHD is associated with early-appearing and enduring subcortical dysfunction, while recovery over the course of development is associated with improvements in executive control functions.

Citation (APA 7) Bowdring, M. A., Sayette, M. A., Girard, J. M., & Woods, W. C. (2021). In the eye of the beholder: A comprehensive analysis of stimulus type, perceiver, and target in physical attractiveness perceptions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 45(2), 241–259. Abstract Physical attractiveness plays a central role in psychosocial experiences. One of the top research priorities has been to identify factors affecting perceptions of physical attractiveness (PPA).