Genetic and environmental influences on the Verbal-Perceptual-Image Rotation (VPR) model of the structure of mental abilities in the Minnesota study of twins reared apart

Wendy Johnson, Thomas J. Bouchard, Matt McGue, Nancy L. Segal, Auke Tellegen, Margaret Keyes, Irving I. Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

In previous papers [Johnson, W., & Bouchard Jr., T. J. (2005a). Constructive Replication of the Visual-Perceptual-Image Rotation (VPR) Model in Thurstone's (1941) Battery of 60 Tests of Mental Ability. Intelligence, 33, 417-430.] [Johnson, W., & Bouchard Jr., T. J. (2005b). The Structure of Human Intelligence: It's Verbal, perceptual, and image rotation (VPR), not Fluid and Crystallized. Intelligence, 33, 393-416.] we have proposed the Verbal, perceptual, and image rotation (VPR) model of the structure of mental abilities. The VPR model is hierarchical, with a g factor that contributes strongly to broad verbal, perceptual, and image rotation abilities, which in turn contribute to 8 more specialized abilities. The verbal and perceptual abilities, though separable, are highly correlated, as are the perceptual and mental rotation abilities. The verbal and mental rotation abilities are much less correlated. In this study we used the twin sample in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart to estimate the genetic and environmental influences and the correlations among them at each order of the VPR model. Genetic influences accounted for 67-79% of the variance throughout the model, with the exception of the second-stratum Content Memory factor, which showed 33% genetic influence. These influences could not be attributed to assessed similarity of rearing environment. Genetic correlations closely mirrored the phenotypic correlations. Together, these findings substantiate the theory that the entire structure of mental abilities is strongly influenced by genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-562
Number of pages21
JournalIntelligence
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

Keywords

  • Genetic and environmental correlations
  • Genetic and environmental influences
  • Intelligence
  • Twin study
  • VPR model
  • Verbal and image rotation abilities
  • g factor

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