Evidence for recent polygenic selection on educational attainment and intelligence inferred from GWAS hits: a replication of previous findings using recent data.
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Description: 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. Weighted and unweighted polygenic scores (PGS) were calculated and compared across populations (N=26) using data from the 1000 Genomes and HGDP-CEPH datasets. A set of 9 SNPs within genomic regions replicated across GWAS publications and a polygenic score calculated from the largest GWAS of educational attainment to date are highly correlated to a previously published 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. Monte Carlo simulations yielded highly significant p values. A subset of SNPs were found in the HGDP-CEPH sample (N= 127). The analysis of this sample yielded a positive correlation with latitude and a low negative correlation with distance from East Africa. This study provides robust results after accounting for spatial autocorrelation with Fst distances and random noise via an empirical Monte Carlo simulation using null SNPs and shows robust reproducibility of results from a previous study.