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Assessing Reliability, Heritability and General Cognitive Ability in a Battery of Cognitive Tasks for Laboratory Mice


Galsworthy, Michael J; Paya-Cano, Jose L; Liu, Lin; Monleón, Santiago; Gregoryan, Gregory; Fernandes, Cathy; Schalkwyk, Leonard C; Plomin, Robert (2005). Assessing Reliability, Heritability and General Cognitive Ability in a Battery of Cognitive Tasks for Laboratory Mice. Behavior Genetics, 35(5):675-692.

Abstract

This report includes the first sibling study of mouse behavior, and presents evidence for a heritable general cognitive ability (g) factor influencing cognitive batteries. Data from a population of male and female outbred mice (n = 84), and a replication study of male sibling pairs (n = 167) are reported. Arenas employed were the T-maze, the Morris water maze, the puzzle box, the Hebb-Williams maze, object exploration, a water plus-maze, and a second food-puzzle arena. The results show a factor structure consistent with the presence of g in mice. Employing one score per arena, this factor accounts for 41% of the variance in the first study (or 36% after sex regression) and 23% in the second, where this factor also showed sibling correlations of 0.17-0.21, which translates into an upper-limit heritability estimate of around 40%. Reliabilities of many tasks are low and consequently set an even lower ceiling for inter-arena or sibling correlations. Nevertheless, the factor structure is seen to remain fairly robust across permutations of the battery composition and the current findings fit well with other recent studies

Abstract

This report includes the first sibling study of mouse behavior, and presents evidence for a heritable general cognitive ability (g) factor influencing cognitive batteries. Data from a population of male and female outbred mice (n = 84), and a replication study of male sibling pairs (n = 167) are reported. Arenas employed were the T-maze, the Morris water maze, the puzzle box, the Hebb-Williams maze, object exploration, a water plus-maze, and a second food-puzzle arena. The results show a factor structure consistent with the presence of g in mice. Employing one score per arena, this factor accounts for 41% of the variance in the first study (or 36% after sex regression) and 23% in the second, where this factor also showed sibling correlations of 0.17-0.21, which translates into an upper-limit heritability estimate of around 40%. Reliabilities of many tasks are low and consequently set an even lower ceiling for inter-arena or sibling correlations. Nevertheless, the factor structure is seen to remain fairly robust across permutations of the battery composition and the current findings fit well with other recent studies

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Genetics (clinical)
Language:English
Date:1 September 2005
Deposited On:23 Oct 2018 15:46
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:52
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0001-8244
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-005-3423-9

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