Davide Piffer

Davide Piffer
Ulster Institute for Social Research

MS

About

74
Publications
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Introduction
The study of individual and population genetic variation in intelligence, creativity and personality

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Full-text available
Amongst admixed American populations, polygenic scores for educational attainment and intelligence (eduPGS), genetic ancestry, and cognitive ability covary. We argue that this plausibly could be due to either confounding or to causally-relevant genetic differences between ancestral groups. It is important to determine which scenario is the case in...
Preprint
Tests of selection based on population differentiation were performed on two highly polygenic traits important for success and quality of life: body height and educational attainment (EA). Polygenic scores (PGS) of EA and height, computed across three public genomic databases revealed differences between populations (1000 Genomes, HGDP, gnomAD) tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Peer-reviewed but not editor-approved on account of controversial research. --- Polygenic scores for educational attainment and intelligence (eduPGS), genetic ancestry, and cognitive ability have been found to be inter-correlated in some admixed American populations. We argue that this could either be due to causally-relevant genetic differences be...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment (EA) were used to test a polygenic selection model. Weighted and unweighted polygenic scores (PGS) were calculated and compared across populations using data from the 1000 Genomes (n = 26), HGDP-CEPH (n = 52) and gnomAD (n = 8) datasets. The...
Article
Genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment (EA) were used to test a polygenic selection model. Weighted and unweighted polygenic scores (PGS) were calculated and compared across populations using data from the 1000 Genomes (n = 26), HGDP-CEPH (n = 52) and gnomAD (n = 8) datasets. The...
Preprint
Full-text available
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...
Preprint
Background: 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.Methods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000...
Article
Full-text available
Intelligence was assessed using the Standard Progressive Matrices in 316 MZ and 550 same-sex DZ twins with a mean age of 10 years in Sudan. Heritability was estimated at 0.172 and shared environmental influences at 0.596.
Chapter
Defining Creativity, Creative Potential, and Creative Achievement Having a clear definition of creativity is a fundamental starting point for any discussion or study involving this concept. Confusion on the concept has plagued research in this field for several decades, causing many paradoxes and hampering progress (Piffer, 2012), although arguably...
Article
Full-text available
Human populations living during the Holocene underwent considerable microevolutionary change. It has been theorized that the transition of Holocene populations into agrarianism and urbanization brought about culture-gene co-evolution that favored via directional selection genetic variants associated with higher general cognitive ability (GCA). To e...
Preprint
Background: 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. Methods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 100...
Preprint
Background: The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model. Methods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. A null model was create...
Preprint
Human populations living in Eurasia during the Holocene experienced considerable microevolutionary change. It has been predicted that the transition of Holocene populations into agrarianism and urbanization brought about culture-gene coevolution that favoured via directional selection genetic variants associated with higher general cognitive abilit...
Preprint
Background: The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model.ethods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. A null model was created...
Preprint
The majority of polygenic selection signal of educational attainment GWAS hits is confined to a handful of SNPs within genomic regions replicated across GWAS publications. A polygenic score comprising 9 SNPs predicts population IQ (r=0.9), outperforming 99.9% of the polygenic scores obtained from sets of random SNPs. Its predictive power remains un...
Article
Richard Lynn's paper on the existence and the magnitude of sex differences in general intelligence proposes that among adults men have a higher average IQ than women and greater variability, and these contribute to the greater number of men among high achievers. The greater variability of males may be attributable to X-linked transmission of intell...
Preprint
Full-text available
The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model. Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. The PS of 161 GWAS significant SNPs in a rec...
Article
Country-level total fertility rates (TFR) and cognitive ability are negatively correlated, suggesting the existence of a selection pressure that might be reducing global G. Also, the cross-population frequencies of several SNPs have been found to predict cognitive ability between countries. This study applies a cross-cultural sociogenetic approach...
Article
Data are reported for the scores of men and women in the standardization of the American WAIS-IV. Men obtained a significantly higher Full Scale IQ than women by 2.25 IQ points and on the General Ability Index by 4.05 IQ points. Men obtained significantly higher scores on the index IQs of Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning and Working Memor...
Article
The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model.Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. The polygenic score of 161 GWAS significant SNPs in...
Article
The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model.Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. The polygenic score of 161 GWAS significant SNPs in...
Article
Full-text available
The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment were used to test a polygenic selection model. Average frequencies of alleles with positive (Beta) effect on the phenotype (polygenic scores) were compared across populations (N=26)using data from 1000 Genomes. Strong correlations between...
Article
Spatial patterns of allele frequencies reveal a clear signal of natural (or sexual) selection on human height. The average frequency of all hits (N=693) and the top significant 66 common genetic variants (pruned for linkage disequilibrium) for 26 populations belonging to 5 sub-continental human groups were significantly correlated to average phenot...
Article
Full-text available
ADHD and general intelligence are negatively correlated (within populations) and this correlation is driven by common genetic variants shared between the two phenotypes. This paper analyzes the population frequency patterns of alleles associated with ADHD and intelligence in two samples of 26 and 50 populations (1000 genomes and ALFRED). Factor ana...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial patterns of allele frequencies reveal a clear signal of natural (or sexual) selection on human height. The average frequency of 66 common genetic variants for 26 populations belonging to 5 sub-continental human groups was significantly correlated to average phenotypic population height. The method of correlated vectors provided additional e...
Article
Full-text available
Factor analysis of allele frequencies was used to identify signals of polygenic selection on human intelligence. Four SNPs which reached genome-wide significance in previous meta-analyses were used. Allele frequencies for 26 population were obtained from 1000 Genomes. The resulting factor scores were highly correlated to average national IQ (r=0.92...
Article
Factor analysis of allele frequencies was used to identify signals of polygenic selection on human intelligence. Four SNPs which reached genome-wide significance in previous meta-analyses were used. Allele frequencies for 26 population were obtained from 1000 Genomes. The resulting factor scores were highly correlated to average national IQ (r=0.92...
Article
Full-text available
An index of population structure (Fst) is used to test the null hypothesis that the genetic factor extracted from GWAS hits represents differences between populations due to migrations and drift. Employing the 1000 Genomes data, a regression of average IQ distances on the general intelligence genetic factor and Fst distances shows that the former i...
Article
A review of published intelligence GWA studies was carried out.The average frequency (polygenic score) of nine alleles positively associated with intelligence is strongly correlated to country IQ (r= 0.91). Factor analysis of allele frequencies produced a factor with a similar correlation to IQ (0.86).The majority of alleles (7/9) loaded positively...
Article
Sexual dimorphism in intelligence suggests that this phenotype is a sexually selected trait. This view is supported by an overrepresentation (compared to the autosomal genome) of genes affecting cognition on the X chromosome. The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that sexual selection can explain sex and country-level differences in perfo...
Article
Artists and scientists have been the most frequently investigated groups in the literature of creative achievement. We previously found that genetic influences on the artistic and the scientific creative achievement were substantial. Using a self-report measure of creative achievement, the present study estimated the phenotypic relationship between...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Comparison of allele frequency patterns across many loci has recently been used to identify selective pressure on polygenic traits such as height and IQ. In this paper, we used one such approach based on principal components analysis, and analyzed GWAS hits from recent studies whose effect on intelligence has been replicated. The component scores h...
Article
Full-text available
The north–south difference in Italy in PISA 2006 scores in reading comprehension, mathematical and science abilities of 15-year-olds has been attributed by Lynn (2010a) to a difference of approximately 10 IQ points in intelligence and by critics to differences in educational resources. New evidence for differences between north and south Italy in t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Principal components analysis on allele frequencies for 14 and 50 populations (from 1K Genomes and ALFRED databases) produced a factor accounting for over half of the variance, which indicates selection pressure on intelligence or genotypic IQ. Very high correlations between this factor and phenotypic IQ, educational achievement were observed (r>0....
Article
Full-text available
Although creative achievement is a subject of much attention to lay people, the origin of individual differences in creative accomplishments remain poorly understood. This study examined genetic and environmental influences on creative achievement in an adult sample of 338 twins (mean age¼26.3 years; SD¼6.6 years). Twins completed the Creative Achi...
Article
Despite the fact that the recently evolved Microcephalin and the related Abnormal Spindle-like Microcaphaly Associated (ASPM) alleles do not appear to be associated with IQ at the individual differences level, the frequencies of Microcephalin have been found to correlate strongly with IQ at the cross-country level. In this study, the association be...
Data
Full-text available
The personality traits and creative achievement of 96 individuals were assessed using self­-report questionnaires. Creative potential was assessed with Divergent Thinking tests and a short version of the Remote Associates Test. Four factors of personality were extracted with Principal Component Analysis. One factor (“Ideational Fluency”) emerged fr...
Article
Full-text available
The personality traits and creative achievement of 96 individu als were assessed using self­report questionnaires. Creative potential was assessed with Divergent Thinking tests and a short version of the Remote Associates Test. Four factors of personality were extracted with Principal Component Analysis. One factor (“Ideational Fluency”) emerged...
Article
Full-text available
This is the first paper to report evidence of a cross-population genetic correlation between educational attainment and IQ. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the underlying genetic structure resulting from recent directional selection. Converging evidence from two different genetic databases (1000 Genomes and ALFRED, comprisin...
Data
This is the first paper to report evidence of a cross-population genetic correlation between educational attainment and IQ. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the underlying genetic structure resulting from recent directional selection. Converging evidence from two different genetic databases (1000 Genomes and ALFRED, comprisin...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of evidence shows that most psychological traits are polygenic, that is they involve the action of many genes with small effects. However, the study of selection has disproportionately been on one or a few genes and their associated sweep signals (rapid and large changes in frequency). If our goal is to study the evolution of psychol...
Article
Full-text available
Weak widespread (polygenic) selection is a mechanism that acts on multiple SNPs simultaneously. The aim of this paper is to suggest a methodology to detect signals of polygenic selection using educational attainment as an example. Educational attainment is a polygenic phenotype, influenced by many genetic variants with small effects. Frequencies of...
Article
Dual-inheritance theory posits that the genotype has an impact on the evolution of human behavior and that cultural traits can be constrained by genetic imperatives. A large body of studies provides evidence that the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism is associated with executive function, working memory (WM), and...
Article
The hypothesis of the present paper is that cognitive abilities have undergone recent positive selection in human populations. Executive function is a multifactorial, polygenic phenotype, influenced by many genetic variants with small effects. Two genes (COMT Val158Met and CHRNA4) located on different chromosomes play an important role in modulatin...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this investigation is to demonstrate that much of the confusion regarding the measurement of creativity is caused by the insufficient clarity of its definition and to provide suggestions for an improved assessment and new possible tools of investigation (e.g. interviews).It is shown that three dimensions of creativity (novelty, appropri...
Article
Men and women differ in sleep duration and timing of sleeping. Men sleep shorter and are later chronotypes, thus go to bed and get up later than women. This sexual dimorphism in chronotype is most striking between the beginning of puberty and beginning of menopause indicating the possibility of a sexually selected trait. Sleep duration, however, is...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has established the existence of individual differences with regards to individuals' optimum time of well-functioning; specifically in terms of being either morning or evening oriented. An association has also emerged between being more evening, as opposed to morning, oriented and having a greater number of sexual partners. The ai...
Article
Human sleep patterns differ across age groups and between males and females, and their association with age and gender suggest that they might have been the target of sexual selection during human evolutionary history. In this study, I test the hypothesis that a phase-delayed circadian phase is a sexually selected trait in humans. A short version o...
Article
Full-text available
Human sleep patterns differ across age groups and between males and females, and their association with age and gender suggest that they might have been the target of sexual selection during human evolutionary history. In this study, I will test the hypothesis that a phase-delayed circadian phase is a sexually selected trait in humans. A short vers...
Article
Full-text available
Human sleep patterns differ across age groups and between males and females, and their association with age and gender suggest that they might have been the target of sexual selection during human evolutionary history. In this study, I will test the hypothesis that a phase-delayed circadian phase is a sexually selected trait in humans. A short vers...