Human Genetics

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 53–58 | Cite as

Myopia and intelligence:a pleiotropic relationship?

  • Sanford J. Cohn
  • Catherine M. G. Cohn
  • Arthur R. Jensen
Original Investigations


The well-established association between myopia and superior intelligence in the general population was investigated in a group of intellectually gifted children and their less gifted full siblings to determine whether the relationship of myopia to psychometric intelligence is consistent with the hypothesis of pleiotropy, i.e., both characteristics are affected by the same gene or set of genes. Failure to find a difference in degree of myopia, assessed as a metric variable, between intellectually gifted and nongifted siblings would contradict pleiotropy. A variety of possible causal pathways, both genetic and environmental, have been hypothesized in the literature to explain the relationship between intelligence and myopia, and these still cannot be ruled out. It is theoretically noteworthy, however, in view of the independent evidence for the considerable heritability of both intelligence and myopia, that the highly significant gifted-nongifted sibling difference in myopia found in the present study is consistent with the hypothesis that intelligence and myopia are related pleiotropically.


Internal Medicine General Population Metabolic Disease Myopia Causal Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanford J. Cohn
    • 1
  • Catherine M. G. Cohn
    • 1
  • Arthur R. Jensen
    • 2
  1. 1.College of EducationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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