Researchers now believe that genes plays a big role in whether a child is good with numbers and words.
The scientists estimate that roughly half the genes that influence reading also play a role in a child’s maths performance.
They suggest that both a child’s learning environment as well as their genetic make-up contribute to the similarity in their reading and mathematics abilities
The study in the journal Nature Communications highlights the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits and the important role the learning environment may have on the development of numeracy and literacy skills.
Increased cognitive ability has been shown in previous studies to be associated with increased wealth and life expectancy.
While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown.
The Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with Robert Plomin of Kings College London and colleagues, have carried out a comprehensive analysis of the contribution of genetics to numeracy and literacy skills in English and Welsh children, aged 12, using data from twins as well as unrelated children.
The team estimate that roughly half the genes which influence reading also play a role in a child’s mathematics performance.
This finding suggests that both a child’s learning environment as well as their genetic make-up contribute to their reading and mathematics
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.