A common polymorphism in SCN2A predicts general cognitive ability through effects on PFC physiology

Matthew A. Scult, Joey W. Trampush, Fengyu Zheng, Emily Drabant Conley, Todd Lencz, Anil K. Malhotra, Dwight Dickinson, Daniel R. Weinberger, Ahmad R. Hariri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Here we provide novel convergent evidence across three independent cohorts of healthy adults (n = 531), demonstrating that a common polymorphism in the gene encoding the α2 subunit of neuronal voltage-gated type II sodium channels (SCN2A) predicts human general cognitive ability or “g.” Using meta-analysis, we demonstrate that the minor T allele of a common polymorphism (rs10174400) in SCN2A is associated with significantly higher “g” independent of gender and age. We further demonstrate using resting-state fMRI data from our discovery cohort (n = 236) that this genetic advantage may be mediated by increased capacity for information processing between the dorsolateral PFC and dorsal ACC, which support higher cognitive functions. Collectively, these findings fill a gap in our understanding of the genetics of general cognitive ability and highlight a specific neural mechanism through which a common polymorphism shapes interindividual variation in “g.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1774
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cognitive neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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