Researchers have linked forty new genes with intelligence.

Intelligence is not defined only by genetics, but an analysis of around 80,000 people suggests DNA does play a significant role.

Dutch researchers performed an analysis of genetic data related to measurements of intelligence (a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies [GWAS] for intelligence) for nearly 80,000 individuals of European descent, including both childhood and adult cohorts.

The large sample size provided the authors with the analytical power to identify novel genes.

The authors identified what appears to be specific regions of the genome that contribute to intelligence.

They found 22 genes, 11 of which had not been described before, that are associated with intelligence using GWAS analysis.

There were an additional 29 novel genes identified using another approach (genome-wide gene association analysis [GWGAS]). These genes are mainly expressed in the brain and are involved in cell development pathways.

The team from VU University Amsterdam said their information can help researchers focus future studies on specific genes and pathways to learn more about how they influence intelligence and brain development.

The study is accessible here.