Genetic Covariation Between the Author Recognition Test and Reading and Verbal Abilities: What Can We Learn from the Analysis of High Performance?
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The Author Recognition Test (ART) measures print exposure and is a unique predictor of phonological and orthographic processes in reading. In a sample of adolescent and young adult twins and siblings (216 MZ/430 DZ pairs, 307 singletons; aged 11–29 years) ART scores were moderately heritable (67%) and correlated with reading and verbal abilities, with genes largely accounting for the covariance. We also examine whether high (and low) (i.e. 1SD above the mean) represents a quantitative extreme of the normal distribution. Heritability for high ART was of similar magnitude to the full sample, but, a specific genetic factor, independent from both low ART performance and high reading ability, accounted for 53–58% of the variance. This suggests a distinct genetic etiology for high ART ability and we speculate that the specific genetic influence is on orthographical processing, a critical factor in developing word recognition skills.
KeywordsPrint exposure Verbal abilities Reading Twins Quantitative genetics
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