Sorry, Dads—Turns Out Kids Get Their Intelligence Directly From Mom

Fancy yourself smart? You’ve got your mom to thank for that. Or so allege the findings of a new study, reported by Psychology Spot.

Until now, it was generally believed that intelligence level is determined by both the mother and father. This new research, however, finds that because intelligence genes are located on the X chromosome, we are more likely to “inherit” our intelligence from mom.

Simply put, we are all born with conditioned genes which behave differently depending on which parent we acquired them from. Some of them—like our “intelligence genes”—are activated only if they come from mom.

“If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated. Obviously, other genes work the opposite, are activated only if they come from the father,” the study in Psychology Spot reports.

During embryo development, cells of any type can appear anywhere in the brain. However, as they mature, the cells tend to separate as follows: “The paternal genes accumulate in some areas of the emotional brain: hypothalamus, amygdala, the pre-optic area 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, food and aggression,” write the researchers in Psychology Spot. “However, researchers have not found any paternal cells in the cerebral cortex, which is where they develop the most advanced cognitive functions, such as intelligence, thought, language and planning.”

So there you have it. If you are food and sex driven, and tend to fly off the handle, you probably have your pops to thank for that (and not your Scorpio disposition.) Whereas if you are strategic, linguistically-capable, and all-around smart—that’s all mom. So call your mom, for crying out loud. She’s the reason you graduated high school.

h/t Psychology Spot