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paoloferrari
07-27-2017, 08:51 AM
Holocene Selection for Variants Associated With General Cognitive Ability: Comparing Ancient and Modern Genomes

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics/article/holocene-selection-for-variants-associated-with-general-cognitive-ability-comparing-ancient-and-modern-genomes/BF2A35F0D4F565757875287E59A1F534


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Abstract

Human populations living during the Holocene underwent considerable microevolutionary change. It has been theorized that the transition of Holocene populations into agrarianism and urbanization brought about culture-gene co-evolution that favored via directional selection genetic variants associated with higher general cognitive ability (GCA). To examine whether GCA might have risen during the Holocene, we compare a sample of 99 ancient Eurasian genomes (ranging from 4.56 to 1.21 kyr BP) with a sample of 503 modern European genomes (Fst = 0.013), using three different cognitive polygenic scores (130 SNP, 9 SNP and 11 SNP). Significant differences favoring the modern genomes were found for all three polygenic scores (odds ratios = 0.92, p = 001; .81, p = 037; and .81, p = .02 respectively). These polygenic scores also outperformed the majority of scores assembled from random SNPs generated via a Monte Carlo model (between 76.4% and 84.6%). Furthermore, an indication of increasing positive allele count over 3.25 kyr was found using a subsample of 66 ancient genomes (r = 0.22, pone-tailed = .04). These observations are consistent with the expectation that GCA rose during the Holocene."