Psychogenetics of human spatial abilities

Zalina R. Takhirova, Anastasiya V. Kazantseva, Renata F. Enikeeva, Gayane A. Vartanyan, Elena L. Soldatova, Irina Yu Zavyalova, Artem S. Malykh, Yulia D. Davydova, Ruslan R. Valiev, Alfiya Kh Nurgalieva, Yaroslava A. Khameta, Elza K. Khusnutdinova, Sergey B. Malykh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. This scientific review aims to understand the etiology of human spatial abilities. Spatial thinking is a complex combination of cognitive abilities related to recognizing, transforming, and storing information about objects and predicting the transformation of interactions among them under the influence of other factors. In this work we tend to provide the most complete description of spatial abilities as a specific type of mental activity that underlies practical and theoretical problem-solving in the framework of psychology and genetics to emphasize the importance of synthesizing the experimental data and psychological foundations of spatial intelligence. Theoretical Basis. This review presents the results of genetically informative studies of human spatial abilities. Since the ability to orientate in space is an integral characteristic of all living organisms, spatial abilities are of evolutionary and adaptive importance. In cognitive psychology, spatial skills are understood as the ability to operate with mental spatial images, schemes, and models of reality. Moreover, these abilities vary widely among individuals. The analysis of the etiology of these individual differences showed a significant contribution (69 %) of hereditary factors in the formation of spatial abilities. The results of twin studies indicate the need for searching specific polymorphic variants in genes involved in the development of spatial skills. Large-scale longitudinal studies have shown that spatial abilities are a reliable predictor of individuals’ achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Therefore, studying their moleculargenetic mechanisms merits special attention. Results and Discussion. Various experimental studies on the psychogenetics of human spatial abilities first reported very interesting findings confirming their hereditary nature. Thus, spatial intelligence is a moderately heritable trait, which development involves a wide range of genetic factors causing the activation of various signaling pathways of the metabolism of the human organism.

Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)67-93
Number of pages27
JournalRussian Psychological Journal
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Education

Keywords

  • Behavioral genetics
  • Cognitive traits
  • Correlation
  • Gene
  • Heritability
  • Individual differences
  • Intelligence
  • Polymorphic variant
  • Predictor
  • Spatial abilities

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