Did you know that intelligence is inherited from the mother?

Did you know that intelligence is inherited from the mother?Le smart people they should thank their mothers, because according to scientific research, they are responsible for transmitting the genes of intelligence. Thus, the gender stereotypes that have survived over the centuries are, perhaps, the hours numbered. Single mothers who want a smart child no longer have to look for a Nobel Prize at the sperm bank, and men are likely to start reevaluating women's intelligence. "Conditioned genes", which behave differently depending on where they come from. In practice, these genes have a kind of biochemical label that allows us to trace their origin and also reveals whether or not they are active within the progeny cells. Interestingly, some of these conditioned genes only work if they come from the mother. If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated. Obviously, other genes work in the opposite way, that is, they are activated only if they come from the father.

The mother's genes are directed to the cerebral cortex, those of the father to the limbic system

We know that intelligence has a hereditary component, but until recently it was thought that it depended as much on the father as on the mother. However, several recent studies reveal that babies are more likely to inherit intelligence from their mothers because intelligence genes are found on the X chromosome. One of the first studies on this was conducted in 1984 by the University of Cambridge, in followed there were others. These studies analyzed brain coevolution and genome conditioning, to conclude that maternal genes contribute most to the development of thought centers in the brain. In the course of the experiment, the researchers created special guinea pig embryos that only had genes. of the mother or father. But when it came time to transfer them to the uterus of an adult rat, the embryos died. Thus it was discovered that there are conditioned genes that are activated only when they are inherited from the mother and are vital for the correct development of the embryo. Conversely, the father's genetic makeup is essential for the growth of the tissue that will form the placenta. At the time, researchers speculated that if these genes were important for the development of the embryo it was likely that they also played a role. fundamental in the life of animals and people, perhaps they could even determine some brain functions. The problem was how to prove this idea since embryos with genes from one parent died quickly. Researchers found the solution: They found that embryos could survive if they kept the normal embryonic cells and manipulated the rest. So they created several genetically engineered lab mice that, surprisingly, didn't develop the same way. Those with an extra dose of maternal genes developed a bigger head and big brain, but had smaller bodies. In contrast, those with an extra dose of paternal genes had small brains and large bodies. By analyzing these differences, the researchers identified cells that contained only maternal or paternal genes in six different parts of the brain that control different cognitive functions. from eating habits to memory.In practice, during the first days of embryo development, any cell can appear anywhere in the brain, but as embryos mature and grow, cells that had paternal genes accumulate in some areas of the emotional brain: the hypothalamus, the amygdala, the preoptic zone and the septum. These areas are part of the limbic system, which is responsible for ensuring our survival and is involved in functions such as sex, nutrition and aggression.

New studies, a new light

Of course, scientists continued to investigate this theory. Years later, Robert Lehrke revealed that much of children's intelligence depends on the X chromosome and also showed that since women have two X chromosomes they are also twice as likely to inherit intelligence-related characteristics. Researchers from the University of Ulm, Germany, studied the genes involved in brain damage and found that many of these, especially those related to cognitive abilities, were found on the X chromosome. mental health is 30% more common in males, but perhaps one of the most interesting findings in this regard comes from a longitudinal analysis conducted by the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in the UK. In this study, 1994 young people between the ages of 12.686 and 14 were interviewed each year since 22. The researchers took into consideration several factors, from skin color and educational background to socio-economic status. So they found that the best predictor of intelligence was the mother's IQ. In fact, the intelligence quotient of young people differed on average only 15 points from that of their mothers.

Genetics are not the only one responsible

If genetics is abandoned, other studies may also be encountered which reveal that the mother plays an important role in the intellectual development of the children, through physical and emotional contact. Indeed, some studies suggest that a secure bond is intimately tied to intelligence. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, for example, have found that children who have developed strong attachment to their mothers develop a more complex capacity for symbolic play. already at the age of two, they are more persistent and show less frustration when solving problems, because the strong bond gives children the confidence to explore the world around them and the confidence to solve problems without getting lost. soul. Furthermore, these mothers also tend to help their children solve problems, thus helping to further stimulate their potential.The importance of the emotional relationship for brain development was demonstrated by researchers at the University of Washington, who revealed for the first time that a secure bond and mother's love are essential for the growth of certain parts of the brain. These researchers analyzed for 7 years the way mothers relate to their children and found that when they emotionally supported the children and adequately met their intellectual and emotional needs, at the age of 13 the hippocampus of these little ones was 10% higher than that of children of emotionally distant mothers. It is worth remembering that the hippocampus is an area of ​​the brain associated with memory, learning, and the stress response.

Can we really talk about hereditary intelligence?

It is estimated that between 40-60% of intelligence is hereditary. This means that the percentage remaining depends on the environment and stimulation. In reality, intelligence is nothing more than the ability to solve problems. But the curious fact is that to solve problems, even a simple mathematical or physical problem, the limbic system also comes into play, because our brain functions as a whole. Thus, even if intelligence is a function closely linked to rational thinking, it is also influenced by intuition and emotions, which genetically speaking, are the point where the father's contribution comes in. Furthermore, we must not forget that, even if a child has a high IQ, it is necessary to stimulate this intelligence and feed it throughout life with new challenges that represent constant improvement. Otherwise, intelligence will dissipate. Beyond what genetics claims, fathers should not be discouraged, because they too can contribute a lot to their children's development, particularly by being emotionally present. The IQ with which we are born is important, but not decisive.
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