Babies born with large heads are often seen as being a bit abnormal—at least until they grow into their oversize noggins around the six-month mark. And while it seems too cartoonish to be true, head size at birth is apparently a pretty accurate indicator of cognitive ability, according to a new study published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry.
The researchers from UK Biobank sought to discover the link between brain function and DNA, ultimately finding "significant associations … between the cognitive test scores [of the sample] and many polygenic profile scores, including intracranial volume, infant head circumference, and childhood cognitive ability." The UK Biobank analyzed over half a million participants aged 37 to 73 between 2006 and 2010, asking them questions relating to their background and lifestyle. The participants also provided blood, urine, and saliva samples for future analysis, and agreed to have their health inspected from birth until the present time.
While there are undoubtedly a myriad of other factors that go into determining a child's intelligence, including genetics, upbringing, and socialization, the researchers have reason to believe that the new evidence is accurate enough to possibly even predict how likely a person is to attend college based on their head circumference at birth.
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