Individual differences in dynamic measures of verbal learning abilities in young twin pairs and their older siblings

Inge L.C. van Soelen, Stéphanie Martine van den Berg, Peter H. Dekker, Marieke van Leeuwen, Jiska S. Peper, Hilleke E. Hulshoff Pol, Dorret I. Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


We explored the genetic background of individual differences in dynamic measures of verbal learning ability in children, using a Dutch version of the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT). Nine-year-old twin pairs (N = 112 pairs) were recruited from the Netherlands Twin Register. When possible, an older sibling between 10 and 14 years old participated as well (N = 99). To assess verbal learning, non-linear curves were fitted for each child individually. Two parameters were estimated: Learning Speed (LS) and Forgetting Speed (FS). Larger twin correlations in monozygotic (MZ) than in dizygotic (DZ) and sibling pairs for LS and FS indicated the importance of genetic factors in explaining variation in these traits. The heritability estimate (percentage of variance explained by genetic factors) for LS was 43% for both twins and siblings. For FS heritability was estimated at 20% in twins and was slightly higher (30%) in their older siblings.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)440-444
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and individual differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-73343
  • METIS-261451

Cite this