Sheffield Café Scientifique

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December Cafe: The genes that regulate intelligence.

For December we are delighted to welcome Dr Tony Payton. (Monday 07 Dec at 1900 at The Showroom) Identifying the risk factors for individual differences in age-related cognitive ability and decline is amongst the greatest challenges facing the healthcare of older people. Cognitive impairment caused by “normal ageing” is a major contributor towards overall intellectual deficit in the elderly and a process that exhibits substantial variation within the population. Both cognitive ability and its decline with age are influenced by our both our genes and the environment with interaction between the two. Over the past fourteen years genetic research has aimed to identify the genetic variation responsible for high cognitive functioning and successful cognitive ageing. During this period a bewildering array of contrasting reports have appeared in the literature that have implicated over 50 genes with effect sizes ranging from 0.1 to 21 per cent. This talk will discuss the progress that’s been made in the field and the benefits and pitfalls of discovering genes that regulate intelligence.