February 22, 2010
Brain Genes Key For Facial Recognition

Your ability to recognize faces comes from your genes.

The ability to recognise faces is largely determined by your genes, according to new research at UCL (University College London).

Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists found that identical twins were twice as similar to each other in terms of their ability to recognise faces, compared to non-identical twins.

Researchers also found that the genetic effects that allow people to recognise faces are linked to a highly specific mechanism in the brain, unrelated to other brain processes such as the ability to recognise words or abstract art.

The researchers used the Cambridge Face Memory Test in this study. You can take the Cambridge Face Memory test online.

It is going to be interesting to see which forms of cognitive ability are not part of the g-factor type of general intelligence. Once genetic trade-offs between different types of cognitive abilities become known prospective parents will face difficult choices. Which types of intellectual ability to favor? Abilities that enhances different types of athletic performance? Abilities that make someone a top lawyer? Or a combination of intellectual abilities, coordination, and stamina that makes for a top surgeon?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 February 22 11:03 PM  Brain Intelligence

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