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Genes Vs. Environment: What Influences Your Intelligence Most?

Medical Daily – Dana Dovey

“Do hard work and dedication lead to good grades, or is intelligence inherent, and no amount of studying can make us “smarter?” Educators and students have been debating this question for years, but here’s what science has to say about how our genes and environment influence intelligence.”(more)

Bad at maths? Blame it to your parents

The Indian Express – Staff Writer

“If mathematics give you nightmares then stop feeling guilty as parents who excel at mathematics produce children who would also excel in the subject, says a study. The study specifically explored inter-generational transmission — the concept of parental influence on an offspring’s behaviour or psychology — in mathematic capabilities. “Our findings suggest an intuitive sense for numbers has been passed down knowingly or unknowingly from parent to child. Meaning, the math skills of parents tend to ‘rub off’ on their children,” said lead researcher Melissa E. Libertus, Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US.”(more)

Genes are not destiny: Environment and education still matter when it comes to intelligence

Medical X-Press – Kate Lynch

“Recent research has suggested that academic performance, reading ability and IQ have a genetic basis. This reinforces the popular notion that intelligence and related cognitive capacities are somehow “in our genes”. This has led some people to reject the importance of educational interventions on the grounds that spending money on nurture isn’t going to significantly affect the abilities nature has given us. However, genes are not destiny. There is good evidence to show how effective environmental interventions can be for educational outcomes.”(more)

Grit, Academic Success Could Be Tied to Genetics, Study Suggests

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A new psychology study from the University of Texas at Austin suggests that character traits, including the desire to learn…have their roots in genetics and could play a role in future academic success. While academic achievement is typically the result of cognitive abilities including logic and reasoning, researchers say that particular personality and character traits have the ability to shape and influence the desire to learn. Performed by UT Austin psychology associate professor Elliot Tucker-Drob, the study noted that genetic differences in people make up close to 50% of the differences in their character. The remaining variation in character was the result of environmental factors outside of the home as well as school environments.”(more)

Can We Predict Which People Will Be Better At Learning Foreign Languages?

Brain Blogger – Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD

“One common gripe we probably have when we observe that friend who can speak effortlessly in a dozen different tongues may be something along the lines of: “Why is he or she so good at learning languages – it’s not fair!” Well, now it appears that perhaps there is indeed some hidden advantage this friend has over ourselves: How our brain is “wired” affects how we pick up a new language. A recent study has shown for the first time that people who have difficulty in learning a new language could have brains that are wired in a way that reduces their ability to acquire the necessary linguistic skills. In particular, this means that the intrinsic differences in how different brain regions communicate with each other makes it significantly easier for some adults to learn a second language as compared to others.”(more)

Learning A Foreign Language Isn’t All About Discipline And Dedication — Genetics Play A Role As Well

Medical Daily – Dana Dovey

“Learning your first language is easy; it’s the second or even third that can be hard. But learning a second language comes easier to some than others, and a new study suggests this may not have as much to do with studying hard as we may think. According to the study, genetic variations can account for changes in the amount of white matter activity in the brain, which in turn can affect the ease with which you learn a second language.”(more)