Did you know that we inherit our intelligence from our mothers?

Have you ever wondered where you get your brains from? Ask your mother!

You need a successful man to raise clever children? That thought is more than outdated. Studies have shown that intelligent people got most of their cleverness from their mothers! The X-chromosome is the key.

Researchers have found that the so-called “conditioned genes” only actively work in a child when they come from the mother. Those of the father are not activated. These genes are essential for the proper development of a fetus. This was first observed during a 1984 study of the University of Cambridge where rats with either only male or female genes were created with the purpose of discovering how important each set is for the development of the embryos. The embryos all died which led to the conclusion that a mother’s genes are vital to an embryo’s development while the father’s genes are important for the tissue growth.

The researchers wanted to find out how important these cells are in a later stage of development. They found a way to keep the genetically modified rat embryos alive by maintaining the embryonic cells and engineering the other cells. The rats with largely maternal genes had huge heads and brains but small bodies while the rats with predominantly male genes had small brains and large bodies. Like this, researchers were able to make out that maternal or paternal cells were present in only six regions of the rats’ brains responsible for different cognitive functions.

Paternal cells are more likely to accumulate in the hypothalamus, the amygdala, the preoptic area and the septum. These parts of the brain are responsible for our survival instinct and they also control our sex drive, hunger and aggression. However, in the cerebral cortex, responsible for highly cognitive functions like intelligence or thoughts, only maternal cells were found.

That is why scientists like Robert Lehrke concluded that children get their intelligence from the X-chromosome, which is most likely to be passed on by the mother. Researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany have found out that brain damages and problems with cognitive abilities are related to chromosome X, which is why men are more likely to develop these damages. An even more convincing result comes from the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow. Each year, they interviewed people aged 14-22 years old with the conclusion that the most important factor of intelligence is, in fact, the mother’s IQ.

But mothers play another important part in our development. By bonding with us emotionally, we learn how to deal with complex tasks and obstacles, as the University of Minnesota found out. The mother’s encouragement makes children go out and learn and figure out how to do things on their own. Certain parts of the brain can only fully develop if an emotional bond between child and mother is formed, based on research by the University of Washington. During a seven-year study, the researchers found out that children of loving mothers have a 10% bigger hippocampus at the age of 13 than children of unaffectionate mothers.

While our parents pass more than 50% of our intelligence to us we acquire the rest of it through our environment and interpersonal interactions. In order to solve even the tiniest obstacle our brain has to work as a whole. That means, what we need in order to be intelligent is not only intelligence itself but also emotions and eloquence. Traits which were passed on to us by our father. Even if a child inherited a high IQ it needs to be constantly taught, encouraged and motivated.

So, even though mothers give their children a huge amount of intelligent genes, fathers are also very important for their kids’ development and upbringing. The ideal interplay between love, genes and education is essential.


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