News & Views | Published:

Genes, brain and cognition

By making maps of the differences in cortical gray matter volume between twins, Thompson et al. describe which brain regions are strongly determined by genetic factors; they further investigate how these brain differences correlate with measures of cognitive performance.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Thompson, P. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 4, 1253–1258 (2001).

  2. 2

    Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., McClearn, G. E. & McGuffin, P. Behavioral Genetics 4th edn. (Worth, New York, 2001).

  3. 3

    Kosslyn, S. & Plomin, R. in Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research: Contemporary Strategies (eds. Dougherty, D., Rauch, S. L. & Rosenbaum, J. F.) 491–515 (American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC, 2001).

  4. 4

    Vernon, P. A., Wickett, J. C., Banzana, P. G. & Stelmack, R. M. in Handbook of Intelligence (ed. Sternberg, R. J.) 245–264 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000).

  5. 5

    Pennington, B. C. et al. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 12, 223–232 (2000).

  6. 6

    Gardner, H. Frames Of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic, New York, 1983).

  7. 7

    Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., Craig, I. W. & McGuffin, P. (eds.) Behavioral Genetics in a Postgenomic World (APA Books, Washington, DC, in press).

  8. 8

    Plomin, R. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2, 136–141 (2001).

  9. 9

    McClearn, G. E. et al. Substantial genetic influence on cognitive abilities in twins 80+ years old. Science 276, 1560–1563 (1997).

  10. 10

    Posthuma, D., Neale, M. C., Boomsma, D. I. & de Geus, E. J. C. Behav. Genet. (in press).

  11. 11

    van Beijsterveldt, C. E., Molenaar, P. C. M., de Geus, E. J. C. & Boomsma, D. I. Behav. Genet. 28, 443–453 (1998).

  12. 12

    Rijsdijk, F. V. & Boomsma, D. I. Behav. Genet. 27, 87–98 (1997).

  13. 13

    Deary, I. J. Looking Down on Human Intelligence: From Psychometrics to the Brain (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000).

  14. 14

    van Beijsterveldt, C. E. & Boomsma, D. I. Hum. Genet. 94, 319–330 (1994).

  15. 15

    Plomin, R., Owen, M. J. & McGuffin, P. Science 264, 1733–1739 (1994).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Figure 1: Levels of analysis from species to individual differences.

Amy Center