It is easy to have a debate talking about intelligence. Some investigators affirm it is heritable compare to others whom argue the influence of the environment. That is nature vs. nurture. But what the neuroscience said?

Studies confirm that 60 to 80% are the result of genetic inheritance, in fact by the X chromosome which contents a lot of the cognitive and learning abilities, as vocabulary, processing speed, spatial ability, executive function and memory. Furthermore the heritability of intelligence increases from about 20% in infancy to perhaps 80% in later adulthood. Plomin, R.  and Deary, I. J.(2014) Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings. Molecular Psychiatry. [Online]. (20). 98–108.

Available from: [Accesed: 18th May 2016]

A secure maternal attachment is relevant in order to grow with self confidence, affront challenges and solve problems every day. That stimulates a cognitive development in their sons. KEVERNE, E. B et. al. (2004). Coadaptation in mother and infant regulated by a paternally expressed imprinted gene. Proc Biol Sci.; 271(1545) p.1303–1309.

Thus means, there are an important genetic proportion that determine the intelligence, but also the social and psychological context. SparkNotes Editors. (2005). SparkNote on Intelligence. The Influence of Heredity and Environment. [Online]

Available from:  [Accesed:18th May 2016]

As a conclusion if a man wants to have an intelligent son, it’s better to find an intelligent woman and vice versa. ABRO, Sh. (2013). Thank your parents if you’re smart: Up to 80% of a child’s intelligence is inherited. [Online] August 7th 2013.

Available from: [Accesed: 18th May 2016]

Ruth Talavera Flores


Research Associate & IRIANS’s Representative for

the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico

IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute


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