Scientists have taken a careful look at one of the most important issues of our time and have found that there is, in fact, a link between innate brainpower and wearing glasses. The findings warm the hearts the bespectacled among us — including, no doubt, many of the very scientists who conducted the study in the first place.
In research conducted by the University of Edinburgh, more than 40,000 people took a variety of tests that provided a general cognitive ability score, and also allowed their genetic data to be examined. Researchers then probed the genetic data — including looking at more than 100 genomic regions that are associated with enhanced cognition — and found a correlation between intelligence and poor eyesight, with the smarter participants being, on average, 30 percent more likely to need reading glasses than those who scored poorly on the cognition tests.
And because the study involved actual cognition test data, the results shouldn’t be influenced by the “glasses effect” — namely, the general societal perception that those who wear glasses must be smarter because glasses are thought to make you look smarter. Indeed, the lead researcher said the study “has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability of thinking skills.” So in addition to passing along the dreaded nearsighted genes, we glasses-wearers may also be passing along better thinking capabilities, too.
It all makes me want to square my shoulders, adjust my glasses, and — for today at least — proudly bear the name “four eyes.”