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Karyotype from cells of a human woman (Wikimedia)


Genetic scientists say children inherit intelligence from their mothers

By WITW Staff on October 13, 2016

A team of genetic researchers announced they believe that only the mother’s genetics play a role in determining the intelligence of her children, while the father plays no hereditary role. Since “intelligence genes” are carried on the X chromosome, of which women have two and men only one, it was already known that mothers are more likely to pass these down. Now, researchers also think that paternal genes for “advanced cognitive functions” are automatically deactivated. They tested the theory in laboratory studies on genetically modified mice, and found no paternal cells in the cerebral cortex, which regulates the majority of advanced cognitive functions (such as reasoning, thinking, language, and planning). To test their theory on humans, they interviewed 12,686 young people between the ages of 14 and 22 every year from 1994 and — accounting for outside factors — discovered that the mother’s IQ was the best predictor for their intelligence. However, this does not mean that fathers don’t play any role in determining their children’s intelligence. Only about 40 to 60 percent of intelligence is hereditary, scientists estimate, with the rest depending on environment factors. Moreover, other genetically determined traits (such as intuition and emotions) which play a part in “unlocking” intelligence, could be inherited from the fathers.

Read the full story at The Independent.


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