Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Evidence for Recent Polygenic Selection on Educational Attainment and Intelligence Inferred from GWAS Hits: A Replication of Previous Findings Using Recent Data

Version 1 : Received: 6 June 2017 / Approved: 8 June 2017 / Online: 8 June 2017 (08:11:07 CEST)

How to cite: Piffer, D. Evidence for Recent Polygenic Selection on Educational Attainment and Intelligence Inferred from GWAS Hits: A Replication of Previous Findings Using Recent Data. Preprints 2017, 2017060039 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201706.0039.v1). Piffer, D. Evidence for Recent Polygenic Selection on Educational Attainment and Intelligence Inferred from GWAS Hits: A Replication of Previous Findings Using Recent Data. Preprints 2017, 2017060039 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201706.0039.v1).

Abstract

Background: The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment and the largest intelligence GWAS were used to test a polygenic selection model. Methods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. Factor analysis was used to extract a signal of polygenic selection. Results: A polygenic selection factor of educational attainment GWAS hits is high among a handful of SNPs within genomic regions replicated across GWAS publications and it is highly correlated to the genetic intelligence factor (r= 0.96). These factors are both highly predictive of average population IQ (r=0.9), and are robust to tests of spatial autocorrelation. Several Monte Carlo simulations yielded highly significant p values. Furthermore, the polygenic selection model shows high replicability, with the EA and intelligence factor scores being virtually identical to those from an older study (r=0.96-0.99). A larger sample of populations (N=53) produced similar results. Conclusion: This study shows robust results after accounting for spatial autocorrelation and Monte Carlo simulation using random SNPs and shows robust reproducibility of results from a previous study.

Subject Areas

educational attainment; polygenes; polygenic selection; IQ; GWAS

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