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Looks like kids have got more to thank their mums for than just the folded pile of clean clothes on their bed, as they might also be the reason behind the straight As on their last school report.
And, no we’re not just talking about the nagging to get them to finish their homework.
Research has confirmed that a child’s intelligence is in fact determined by their mother’s genes.
That is because intelligence is carried on the X chromosome and while kids can inherit an X chromosome from their dad also, mums carry two X chromosomes so are more likely to pass theirs on.
Researchers also suggest that even if a child does inherit cognitive functions from their father, they may be automatically deactivated due to conditioned genes. They found that certain genes are conditioned to work when they come from the mother while certain others are conditioned to work when they come from the father.
Intelligence is believed to be among the genes that are conditioned to work from the maternal side.
Scientists used genetically modified mice to identify which genes are conditioned to work from which parent. They looked at six different parts of the mice’s brains to determine which parts controlled cognitive functions, such as memory and eating habits.
Most advanced cognitive functions, like thought, reasoning and language took place in the cerebral cortex, which was found to contain no paternal cells at all.
The paternal genes ended up being found in the limbic system, which controls functions like food, sex and aggression.
Researchers in Glasgow even took a more human take on the evidence and found that, across a study of 12,686 young people, the mother’s IQ was actually the best predictor of intelligence.
But it looks like genetics is not the only factor to take into consideration.
Scientists at the University of Washington discovered the area of the brain linked to learning, memory and stress response was larger in children who were emotionally supported by their mothers and who had been intellectually fulfilled by spending time with their mothers.
Better make sure you get a treat too next time the kids come home with an A!
Aleesha Badkar is a lifestyle writer who specialises in health, beauty - and the royals. After completing her MA in Magazine Journalism at the City, the University of London in 2017, she interned at Women’s Health, Stylist, and Harper’s Bazaar, creating features and news pieces on health, beauty, and fitness, wellbeing, and food. She loves to practice what she preaches in her everyday life with copious amounts of herbal tea, Pilates, and hyaluronic acid.
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