Aims: To test the genetic basis of mathematical ability.
Background: This genetic study is testing for differences between mathematicians and non-mathematicians. Mathematicians have been chosen as clear examples of individuals who are talented at systemising. This builds on our earlier genome wide association study but uses next generation whole genome sequencing, in collaboration with Illumina Inc. Also, because autism occurs at a higher rate in mathematicians than would be expected by chance, we will be testing for genetic overlap with autism.
Method: Whole genome sequencing and Sanger sequencing (a particular method of sequencing DNA).
Results: These will appear on our website.
Importance: This is of interest in its own right, but any overlap between the genetics of mathematical ability and the genetics of autism will change our view of both.
Relevance: This research is mostly of relevance to the field of genetics but may also help to change the way society views autism, from a purely disabling condition to a neurological profile that may also be related to talent.
Funding: The Templeton World Charitably Foundation; the Autism Research Trust; the Wellcome Trust.
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