Score one for moms! A new study claims that a child’s intelligence is determined by her mother’s genetics, not dads, as previously thought.
Researchers at the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, Scotland conducted longitudinal analysis of 12,686 young people aged between 14 and 22 years who were interviewed every year since 1994. The researchers took into account several factors, from skin-color and education to socio-economic status. They found that the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the mother.
The study found that women are more likely to transmit intelligence genes to their children because they are carried on the X chromosome and women have two of these, while men only have one.
But there is more!
Scientists also now believe genes for advanced cognitive functions which are inherited from the father may be automatically deactivated. A category of genes known as “conditioned genes” are thought to work only if they come from the mother in some cases and the father in other cases. Intelligence is believed to be among the conditioned genes that have to come from the mother.
Researchers looked to lab mice to confirm the link. Those given an extra dose of maternal genes developed bigger heads and brains, but had little bodies while those given an extra dose of paternal genes had small brains and larger bodies.
Researchers identified cells that contained only maternal or paternal genes in six different parts of the mouse brains which controlled different cognitive functions, from eating habits to memory.
Fortunately for kids with rocket scientist dads who feel left out, the research also indicates that genetics are not the only determinant of intelligence. Only 40 to 60 per cent of intelligence is estimated to be hereditary, leaving a similar chunk dependent on the environment.
There you have it! Dad can teach you his brilliance! ha!
Read more about this data Here!