Is intelligence inherited?

Are children born or become smart? For decades, environmentalists and geneticists have been confronted in debates over whether the intelligence is inherited or not. The discussion about whether we are intelligent thanks to our ascents or thanks to our environment seems to be clarifying thanks to recent research.

Recent studies show that the degree of intelligence between parents and children improves from generation to generation. But how do we become smarter than our parents?

Children inherit mental agility

The intelligence is not an inalterable characteristic in the human being, although it is determined from the first moment of the life. A recent study of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has shown that one part of intelligence is inherited and this is that of mental agility. However, there are other components that define and develop our own intelligence that must inevitably be acquired throughout our existence through mental training, that is, reading, studying, numerical training ...


From the first moment of his life, the baby develops a series of characteristics that are subject to changes, as they evolve throughout its development. In this evolution, which culminates in maturation, all agents, both internal and external are of fundamental importance. Relations with family and school environment, and in the future, with the professional environment, define personality and intelligence.

The genetic map of intelligence

The child is born with a genetic component that defines him. Said hereditary map is unique and specific to each one, even in the twin brothers. Our genetics is decisive, but ultimately, our will is what makes one can define one way or another.


We inherit the color of eyes, or height, and certain features that define intelligence, but with will and perseverance can be improved and modified. "A person with a will goes further than an intelligent person," says psychiatrist Enrique Rojas, Professor of Psychiatry at the Complutense University of Madrid.

And it is that the intelligence, although it has a large genetic component can be influenced in a positive way. The work of brain stimulation provides the neural connections necessary to increase intelligence and this number of interconnections occur more easily before 3 years of age . That's why early stimulation is so important in babies. Working with intelligence is the way to develop it.

Exercises that promote the development of intelligence

1. Spatial fitness exercises. These exercises are aimed at managing with skill the drawing of the shapes and strokes of the objects, developing above all the power of observation.
2. Numerical aptitude exercises. They are related to mathematical thinking, operations and systems that can be used in solving problems with numbers.
3. Logical fitness exercises. They are based on critical reasoning, in terms of their validity or invalidity, and inductive methods and operational research are exercised.
4. Creativity exercises, problem solving and decision making. They stimulate reflection and the search for solutions to different types of problems. It includes the ability to imagine, invent and also training in decision making.


Tips for children to develop intelligence

The intelligence is worked from auditory, visual, tactile sensory stimulation ... Currently, there are many forms and exercises to stimulate the baby, even from when he is in the cradle.
As they grow, the stimuli to develop intelligence can be worked in the following way:

1. Reading: Educate by example and teach your children to enjoy the pleasure of reading. Try to offer books that you have read, so you can talk and ask about aspects of the story or the characters.
2. The word of the day: from small incúlcales a new word every day and that use it. At the end of the week, make a list of the 7 words you have used and make a sentence with them.
3. The movies: Talk to your child about the characters that they liked the most and why. Ask him what values ​​he would point to in the story.

Isabel Rojas-Estapé

More information in the bookPilar Martín Lobo, Smart Children: a guide to develop their talents and high abilities.

You may also like:

- Firstborn children score higher in intelligence

- The 8 intelligences of children, games to enhance them

- Gifted: children with high abilities

- Activities that stimulate the baby's intelligence

Video: Genetics and Intelligence Robert Plomin


Interesting Articles

Skoda Fabia Combi. Capable and orderly

Skoda Fabia Combi. Capable and orderly

We only need to look inside our vehicle to know what kind of family we are and how much we store in the car. The new Fabia Combi adapts to our needs and prepares for the arrival of suitcases, drinks...

Generosity, tricks to teach children

Generosity, tricks to teach children

Teaching a child to be generous is not easy, especially considering that children are in a stage of natural selfishness and do not know how to put themselves in the place of those around them. These...

Drug treatment treatments: when are they necessary?

Drug treatment treatments: when are they necessary?

When parents discover that their children are using drugs, initial reactions often include feelings of guilt, anger, shame or even not wanting to accept reality. In the middle of this gale of...