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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter evaluates the contribution of behavioral genetics to the understanding of mathematical development. Quantitative genetic methods are introduced first and are followed by a review of the existing literature on the relative contribution of genes and environments to variation in mathematical ability at different ages and in different populations. The etiology of any observed sex differences in mathematics is also discussed. The chapter reviews literature on multivariate twin research into the etiological links between mathematics and other areas of cognition and achievement; between mathematical ability and disability; and between mathematical achievement and mathematical motivation. In the molecular genetic section, the few molecular genetic studies that have specifically explored mathematical abilities are presented. The chapter concludes by outlining future directions of behavioral genetic research into mathematical learning and potential implications of this research.

Keywords: behavioral genetics, twin method, heritability, molecular genetics, DNA, etiology of variation, etiology of comorbidity and co-variation, ability and disability

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