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This paper reviews the behavior-genetic literature on speed of information processing with special focus on two major issues in this field: (a) the importance of genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in performance on elementary cognitive tasks, and (b) the contributions of correlated genetic and correlated environmental effects to the relation between faster processing rates and higher intelligence scores that is consistently observed. The bulk of relevant studies points to substantial genetic influences on speed of information processing. These genetic influences, however, do not exceed the importance of genetic influences on psychometric intelligence. Moreover, small to moderate shared environmental influences on speed of information processing are usually found. The correlation between mental speed and psychometric intelligence is mainly accounted for by correlated genetic effects, but genetic effects on processing speed and intelligence are not perfectly correlated.


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