Genetics and genomics: good, bad and ugly

Yulia Kovas and Robert Plomin

in Neuroscience in Education

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600496
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739187 | DOI:
Genetics and genomics: good, bad and ugly

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This chapter argues that adding genetics to both neuroscientific and educational research will help to bridge neurosciences and education and lead to improved education. The first part considers the contributions that quantitative and molecular genetics research has already made to the field of learning abilities and disabilities. It argues that recent twin research provides many important insights into the origins of individual differences in learning ability and achievement. It also argues that although we would use the word ‘ugly’ to describe attempts to date to find the actual DNA polymorphisms that are involved in genetically-driven variation, greater progress will be achieved in the near future. The second half of the chapter discusses the implications of these findings to educational and neuroscientific research.

Keywords: neuroscientific research; educational research; genetics; education; learning; DNA polymorphisms

Chapter.  10666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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