Many of the genes that influence how well children can read also affect their math skills. Recent research suggests that 50% of the genes that shape the literacy skills of 12 year-old children are related to their mathematics abilities. Although genes are fundamental elements in brain development, environmental factors like family life and school have as much impact as genetics in the intellectual development of a child.

“Heritability does not imply that anything is set in stone. It just means it may take more effort from parents, schools and teachers to bring the child up to speed,” said Robert Plomin, professor of behavioral genetics at Kings College London and an author of  the study.

Picture: Student with a lesson-book, by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (Wikimedia Commons, w/Effects)