Genetic effects on human cognition: lessons from the study of mental retardation syndromes.
Nokelainen P., Flint J.
The molecular basis of human cognition is still poorly understood, but recent advances in finding genetic mutations that result in cognitive impairment may provide insights into the neurobiology of cognitive function. Here we review the progress that has been made so far and assess what has been learnt from this work on the relation between genes and cognitive processes. We review evidence that the pathway from genetic lesion to cognitive impairment can be dissected, that some genetic effects on cognition are relatively direct and we argue that the study of mental retardation syndromes is giving us new clues about the biological bases of cognition.