Russian Psychological Issues
JournalsTopicsAuthorsEditor's Choice For AuthorsAbout PsyJournals.ruContact Us

  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 9, no. 1)

Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-4977


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2012

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


«Vanishing heritability» – a new paradox in the context of an old problem 767

Mariutina T.M.
Doctor of Psychology, Head of Differential Psychology Department, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

«Vanishing heritability» is a linguistic metaphor, reflecting the phenomenonof noncoincidence between impact assessments for the operation of the genotype of the psyche in norm and pathology, which are fixed in two different methods: population-related and molecular-genetic. On the one hand, population-based studies of kinship (twins, siblings, parents-children), when assessing their cognitive and personality traits, have received high values of the basic statistic index - heritability. On the other hand, the molecular-genetic research has shownthat certain genetic polymorphisms cannot explain a large part ofheritabilityof this kind of psyche both in normal and pathology. The article deals with the background of the problem, examines the possible causes of this phenomenon and the ways out of the situation.

Keywords: heritability, gene, genome, genetic polymorphism, allele variants, population studies

Column: General psychology


For Reference

  1. Alfimova M.V., Golimbet V.E. Geny i neirofiziologicheskie pokazateli kognitivnykh protsessov [Genes and neurophysiological indicators of cognitive processes]: Obzor issledovanii. Zhurnal vysshei nervnoi deyatel'nosti [Journal higher nervous activity], 2011. Vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 389–401. (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  2. Kolchanov N.A. et al. Gennye seti [Elektronnyi resurs] [Gene Network]. Vavilovskii zhurnal genetiki i selektsii [Vavilov Journal of Genetics and Breeding], 2013. Vol. 17, no. 4/2, pp. 833–850. URL: (Accessed: 11.08.2016). (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  3. Grigorenko E.L. Biologicheskaya priroda disleksii [Elektronnyi resurs] [The biological nature of dyslexia]: Kratkii obzor literatury i primery issledovanii. Psikhologiya. Zhurnal Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki [Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics], 2010. T. 7, no. 4, pp. 20–44. URL: (Accessed: 11.08.2016). (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  4. Lartseva A. Ot genoma do povedeniya. Nekotorye voprosy sovremennoi kognitivnoi genetiki [From the genome to the behavior. Some of the problems of modern cognitive genetics]. Logos [Logos], 2014. Vol. 97, no. 1, pp. 155–170. (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  5. Maryutina T.M. Endofenotipy v psikhiatricheskoi genetike: opyt desyati let izucheniya [Elektronnyi resurs] [Endophenotypes of psychiatric genetics: the experience of ten years of study]: Obzor literatury. Sovremennaya zarubezhnaya psikhologiya [Modern foreign psychology]. 2013. Vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 45–58. URL: (Accessed: 11.08.2016). (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  6. Ehret G.B. et al. A Multi-SNP Locus-Association Method Reveals a Substantial Fraction of the Missing Heritability. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2012. Vol. 91, no. 5, pp. 863–871. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.09.013
  7. Barnett J.H., Scoriels L., Munafo M.R. Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive Effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Gene Val158/108Met Polymorphism. Biological Psychiatry, 2008. Vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 137–144. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.01.005
  8. Tunbridge E.M. et al. Catechol-O-methyltransferase, cognition, and psychosis: Val158Met and beyond. Biological Psychiatry, 2006. Vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 141–151. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.10.024
  9. Heng H.H. et al. Decoding the genome beyond sequencing: The new phase of genomic research. New Genomic Technologies and Applications, 2011. Vol. 98, no. 4, pp. 242–252. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2011.05.008
  10. Zhu Z. et al. Dominance Genetic Variation Contributes Little to the Missing Heritability for Human Complex Traits. American Journal of Human Genetics, 2015. Vol. 96, no. 3, pp. 377–385. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.001
  11. Chen X.  et al. Dominant Genetic Variation and Missing Heritability for Human Complex Traits: Insights from Twin versus Genome-wide Common SNP Models. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2015. Vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 708-714. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.10.004
  12. Trerotola M. et al. Epigenetic inheritance and the missing heritability. Hum Genomics, 2015. Vol. 9, no. 17, pp. 1–12. doi: 10.1186/s40246-015-0041-3
  13. Lee S.H. et al. Estimating Missing Heritability for Disease from Genome-wide Association Studies. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2011. Vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 294–305. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.02.002
  14. Manolio T. et al. Finding the missing heritability of complex diseases. Nature, 2009. Vol. 461, no 7265, pp. 747–753. doi: 10.1038/nature08494
  15. Visscher P.M. et al. Five Years of GWAS Discovery. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2012. Vol. 90, no. 1, pp.7–24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.11.029
  16. Goldsmith H.H. Continuity of Personality. A Genetic Perspective. Continuities and Discontinuities in Development. R.N. Emde, R.Y. Harmon (eds). Boston, MA: Springer US, 1984, pp. 403–414. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4613-2725-7
  17. Eichler E.E. et al. Missing heritability and strategies for finding the underlying causes of complex disease. Nature Reviews Genetics, 2010. Vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 446–450. doi:10.1038/nrg2809
  18. Hunt K.A. et al. Negligible impact of rare autoimmune-locus coding-region variants on missing heritability. Nature, 2013. Vol. 498. no. 7453, pp. 232–235. doi: 10.1038/nature12170
  19. Plomin R. Child development and molecular genetics: 14 years later. Child Development, 2013. Vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 104–120. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01757.x
  20. Richardson K. The eclipse of heritability and the foundations of intelligence. New Ideas in Psychology, 2013. Vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 122–129. doi: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2012.08.002
  21. Zuk O. et al. Searching for missing heritability: designing rare variant association studies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013. Vol. 111, no. 4, pp. 455–464. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1322563111
  22. Slatkin M. Epigenetic Inheritance and the Missing Heritability Problem. Genetics, 2009. Vol. 182, no. 3, pp. 845–850. doi:10.1534/genetics.109.102798
  23. DeYoung C.G. et al. Sources of cognitive exploration: Genetic variation in the prefrontal dopamine system predicts Openness/Intellect. Journal of Research in Personality, 2011. Vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 364–371. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2011.04.002
  24. Zuk O. et al. The mystery of missing heritability: Genetic interactions create phantom heritability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011. Vol. 109, no. 4, pp. 1193–1198. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119675109
  25. R. Plomin, et al. Top 10 Replicated Findings From Behavioral Genetics. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2016. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 3–23. doi: 10.1177/1745691615617439
  26. Visvikis-Siest S. Gene-environment interactions and missing heritability. Clinical Biochemistry, 2013. Vol. 46, no. 12, pp. 1149. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2013.05.018

© 2007–2020 Portal of Russian Psychological Publications. All rights reserved in Russian

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Catalogue of academic journals in psychology & education MSUPE

Creative Commons License Open Access Repository

RSS Psyjournals at facebook Psyjournals at Twitter Psyjournals at Youtube ??????.???????