The study brought together data from 12 different countries. Some 30,000 people, aged more than 45 years, took cognitive function tests that included tests of simple, repeated coding under pressure of time, news agency reported.

Researchers then processed the results alongside details of each person's genome to identify genetic variants or changes associated with speed of thinking skills.

According to the press release, they found that people with slower brain processing speed overall were found to have variants near a gene called CADM2.

The CADM2 gene is linked to the communication process between brain cells, evidence of the gene's activity is abundant in the frontal and cingulate cortex in the brain, areas of the brain involved in thinking speed.

The study confirms the likely role of CADM2 in between-cell communication, and therefore cognitive performance, said lead researcher Carla Ibrahim-Verbaas.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, involved researchers in Australia, Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Britain and US.

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