Have you thanked your mom today? If not, you probably should. New research has confirmed that the majority of our intelligence comes from our mothers, Cosmopolitan reports.
How does this work? Some genes are conditioned, and these genes work differently depending on their origin (your mother or your father). The conditioned genes that determine your intelligence are located on the X chromosome, which females have two of. Since males only have one, you’re more likely to get that intelligence gene from your mom. If you get it from your father, too, chances are it’s going to be deactivated. Of course, there are genes that work in the opposite manner as well, which are deactivated when they are inherited from your mother.
According to Psychology Spot, this research dates as far back as 1984, when researchers at the University of Cambridge found that maternal genes contribute the most to developing the thought centers in our brains—but until recently it was thought that intelligence depended on both mom and dad. But researchers at the University of Ulm, located in Germany, found that many genes involved in brain damage, especially ones relating to our cognitive abilities, were on the X chromosome. It’s not only genetic, though. Emotions play their part in the development of our intelligence, as well; researchers at the University of Minnesota found that a strong bond between a mother and her child will help to increase their competence at earlier ages, because she gives them security and confidence to explore their surroundings and solve problems.
One of the most telling studies came from the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, Scotland. Every year since 1994, 12,686 people between the ages of 14 and 22 were interviewed, with factors such as skin color, educational status, and socio-economic status taken into account. But the best predictor of the kids’ intelligence was their mother’s IQ—most individuals were only an average of 15 points off of their mother’s IQ.
So go ahead and pick up the phone—after all, you got it from your momma.