Logical ability

In logical reasoning, the ideas or sequence of facts are developed coherently and without contradiction. Logical ability is the ability that allows us to think and reason quickly when faced with a problem, without prior information and experience. Its measurement can be very useful in assessing a person's psychological abilities.

Intelligence is a somewhat abstract mental capacity that can be studied in different ways. Throughout history, several models have been created to try to explain this trait.

Logic is a formal science that studies a part of the structure or form of human thought that includes processes such as demonstration, inference and deduction. It is an extremely ancient discipline, dating back to the Ancient Ages. Throughout history it has been considered a branch of philosophy, but the important methodological and knowledge change that took place during the 20th century has led to the distinction between other types of logic, such as mathematics and computational logic.

Logical ability enables a person to adapt to and deal with new situations in an agile way, without previous learning, experience or acquired knowledge being a determining factor in its manifestation.  It includes the ability to analyse, reason, identify, solve and extrapolate concepts. It is influenced by the maturational process, reaching its peak early, around adolescence, and deteriorating with age. It is a fundamental ability in scientific, mathematical and technical fields.

Logical ability is influenced by genetics and other variables such as neurophysiology (e.g. the development of neural connections). Also, growing up as a child in a nurturing environment favours the development of neural connections in the regions of the brain associated with memory, learning and spatial orientation.

Being able to assess logical ability helps to obtain information about a person's capacities and can even be very useful in certain diagnoses.

In addition to age, there are other factors that can diminish this ability, such as accidents, pathologies or drug use, among others.

Logical ability, which includes skills such as processing ideas, reasoning and memory, is a trait that depends on a number of factors, including genetics and environmental factors such as age. One of the latest GWAS studies has identified 50 markers associated with the development of logical ability, through the participation of almost 120,000 people. Among the genes that have shown the strongest association is SLC39A8, which codes for the zinc transporter ZIP8, responsible for the transport of trace elements such as zinc, copper, iron and manganese. Its function is related to the development of dopaminergic neurons, and alterations in this gene have been associated with the development of diseases such as schizophrenia or Parkinson's disease, as a consequence of alterations in the levels of manganese in the brain. Other important markers in the study belong to genes such as AFF3 (previously also related to neurodevelopment and intellectual disability) and the ARTN gene, which produces the neublastin protein, important in the survival of neurons and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of loci analyzed in the study

50 loci


UK Biobank Database. Fluid intelligence score, Data-Field 20016 [Version Jan-2022]

Kent P. Fluid intelligence: A brief history. Appl Neuropsychol Child. 2017 Jul-Sep;6(3):193-203. doi: 10.1080/21622965.2017.1317480. Epub 2017 May 16. PMID: 28506124.

Cochrane A, Simmering V, Green CS. Fluid intelligence is related to capacity in memory as well as attention: Evidence from middle childhood and adulthood. PLoS One. 2019;14(8):e0221353. Published 2019 Aug 22.

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