Parents wondering whether their 4-year-olds will grow up to be on the honor roll might do well to pay attention to their drawings. Researchers at King's College London say a long-term study suggests a link between how well children draw at age 4 and their intelligence 10 years later, reports Time. The emphasize that it's only a "moderate" link and that drawing ability "doesn't determine intelligence," but they were nonetheless surprised to find the correlation at all. In the study, they asked 15,504 kids—7,752 pairs of identical and fraternal 4-year-old twins—to draw a picture of a child.
They also conducted intelligence tests, and weren't that surprised to discover that kids with the best drawings did the best on those tests at age 4. The intriguing part came when they reconnected with the kids after 10 years, reports the Washington Post. “What surprised us was that it correlated with intelligence a decade later," says a lead researcher. Another surprise: Drawings by identical twins, who share all their genes, were more similar to each other than drawings by fraternal twins, who share only half, reports NPR. "We had thought any siblings who were raised in the same home would be quite similar," says the researcher. She discounts the idea of a "drawing gene," however, adding that "we are a long way off understanding how genes influence all these different types of behavior.” (Click to read about how women are getting smarter faster than men.)