Identification of first candidate genes for creativity: a pilot study.

Identification of first candidate genes for creativity: a pilot study.

Brain Res. 2006 Jan 19;1069(1):190-7

Authors: Reuter M, Roth S, Holve K, Hennig J

Studies from behavioral genetics have demonstrated the high heritability of intelligence. However, the endeavor to detect the genes forming the molecular basis of intelligence has been rather unsuccessful until now. Pharmacological studies have demonstrated the influence of the dopaminergic (DA) and the serotonergic (5-HT) system on subcomponents of cognitive functioning, and first studies from molecular genetics have demonstrated that genes related to the DA metabolism are associated with mental abilities. However, candidate genes for creativity have not been identified so far. Therefore, the influence of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (locus: COMT VAL158MET) gene and the dopamine D2 receptor gene (locus: DRD2 TAQ IA) on creativity was tested in addition to a serotonergic gene, TPH1 (locus: TPH-A779C), in a sample of N = 92 healthy Caucasian subjects while controlling for intelligence. Results showed that the DRD2 gene and the TPH gene were both associated with total creativity, explaining 9% of the variance, while COMT was not related to creativity at all. With respect to the subcomponents, the A1+ allele of DRD2 was related to higher verbal creativity as compared to the A1- allele, and carriers of the A allele of TPH1 showed significantly higher scores in figural and in numeric creativity, indicating that the two gene loci discriminate between higher cortical functions according to the organization of cognitive functions in the respective hemispheres.

PMID: 16403463 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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