The study of genetic variants can help us understand the causes of differences in the cognitive functions of individuals that are determined by the environment but also have an important contribution from genetics.
Educational attainment appears to be genetically influenced and was the main subject of the first GWAS (genome-wide association study) applied to the social sciences that looked for which genes might be related to such cognitive ability.
Cognitive ability is fundamental to physical and mental well-being. Better cognitive function during youth is associated with a lower risk of psychiatric disorders and disease later in life. Conversely, there is evidence that some diseases can affect cognitive abilities in young people, thereby affecting their studies.
13.5 million variants
Lee J.J., Wedow R., et al. Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals. Nature Genetics, 23 Jul 2018, 50(8):1112-1121.