Home Science Science Says Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mothers

Science Says Children Inherit Their Intelligence From Their Mothers


If you consider yourself a smart individual, then your mom is certainly a very smart woman.

According to scientists, intelligent people should thank their mothers for their smart brains because their mother’s genes play the crucial role in transmitting the intelligence from them to their children.

At the core of this idea are the “conditioned genes” which are said to behave differently based on their origin – to get activated or not. What’s interesting is that these genes only get activated if they come from the mother. If the gene is being inherited from the father, it is immediately deactivated.

The father genes go to the limbic system, while the mother’s genes go to the cerebral cortex.

As the embryo develops, cells with paternal genes tend to accumulate in the amygdala, the hypothalamus, the septum, and the preoptic area of the brain. These are all parts of our limbic system that is responsible for our survival – food, sex, and aggression.

What’s interesting is that the researchers haven’t found any paternal genes in the cerebral cortex – the area of the brain responsible for many cognitive functions such as thought, planning, language, and intelligence.

It was believed that intelligence depended on both the mother’s and the father’s genes. However, the scientists discovered that children inherit intelligence from their mother because the intelligence genes are placed in chromosome X. And because women have two X chromosomes they are twice as likely to pass on their ‘intelligence’ genes to their children.

Probably the first study was conducted at the Cambridge University in 1984, to which followed many others throughout the years. The scientists analyzed the conditioning of the genome and the co-evolution of the brain and they concluded that the children’s development of their thought process came from the maternal genes.

The researchers were analyzing the specifically created embryos of rats that have the genes of either the mother or the father. They found that they didn’t develop in the same way.

The rats with more maternal genes had little bodies but big heads and brains, while the rats with more paternal genes had large bodies but small brains.

More studies reveal that genetics might not be the only ones responsible for this. Namely, according to some studies, forming secure bonds is directly linked to intelligence.  So, children who have formed a strong bond with their mother have a more developed capacity to play complex games and are less frustrated during the troubleshooting.

This is because the strong and deep connection that they have with their mother gives them the needed security and confidence to explore the world, solve problems, and undertake any risks thus stimulating further their potential.

Finally, approximately 40-60% of a person’s intelligence is hereditary. This means that the other percentage mainly depends on the personal characteristics, stimulation, and the environment.

However, let’s not dismiss fathers for they also contribute greatly to their children’s development, especially if they are emotionally and physically present.


Mary Wright

Mary Wright

Mary Wright is a professional writer with more than 10 years of incessant practice. Her topics of interest gravitate around the fields of the human mind and the interpersonal relationships of people.
Mary Wright

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