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Evolutionary Trends of Polygenic Scores in European Populations From the Paleolithic to Modern Times.

This study examines the temporal and geographical evolution of polygenic scores (PGSs) across cognitive measures (Educational Attainment [EA], Intelligence Quotient [IQ]), Socioeconomic Status (SES), and psychiatric conditions (Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD], schizophrenia [SCZ]) in various populations. Our findings indicate positive directional selection for EA, IQ, and SES traits over the past 12,000 years. Schizophrenia and autism, while similar, showed different temporal patterns, aligning with theories suggesting they are psychological opposites. We observed a decline in PGS for neuroticism and depression, likely due to their genetic correlations and pleiotropic effects on intelligence. Significant PGS shifts from the Upper Paleolithic to the Neolithic periods suggest lifestyle and cognitive demand changes, particularly during the Neolithic Revolution. The study supports a mild hypothesis of Gregory Clark's model, showing a noticeable rise in genetic propensities for intelligence, academic achievement and professional status across Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. While latitude strongly influenced height, its impact on schizophrenia and autism was smaller and varied. Contrary to the cold winters theory, the study found no significant correlation between latitude and intelligence.

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