Size Does Matter: Babies Born With Big Heads Are Likely To Be More Intelligent!

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Normally having what you call a "big head" isn't considered a good thing. But according to new research, using data from the United Kingdom Health Resource, UK Biobank, it just might be a great thing for your little ones. Babies born with larger craniums are actually likely to be smarter according to findings reported in Daily Mail.

Research carried out by UK Biobank has strongly linked higher intelligence with a large head circumferences and brain volume.

The UK Biobank, launched in 2007, is a major long-term investigation into the respective contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure in the development of diseases.

The latest evidence is the first findings to emerge from the study that aims to break down the relationship between brain function and DNA. 

In a paper published in the Nature journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers said: 'Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test scores in the UK Biobank sample and many polygenic profile scores, including. . . intracranial volume, infant head circumference and childhood cognitive ability.'

Half a million Brits are being monitored by the charity to discover the connection between their genes, their physical and mental health, and their paths through life.

The researchers tested the participants in a variety of ways - looking into their verbal and numerical reasoning, reaction time, memory, and educational attainment.

They collected blood, urine, and saliva samples — along with information on backgrounds and lifestyle — from more than 100,000 British people and analyzed the data for any signs of connections or correlations.

During their analysis, the researchers found that people who were born with big heads were significantly more likely to earn a college degree and score higher on a verbal-numerical reasoning test. Meaning, babies born with a head circumference larger than the average of 13.5–14 inches were likely to exhibit greater intelligence later in their lives.

The international scientists behind the study, which was published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, were searching for links between genes, IQ, and overall health when they made this new discovery.

Professor Ian Deary, of Edinburgh University, who is leading the research, said gene variants were also strongly associated with intelligence.

'In addition to there being shared genetic influences between cognitive skills and some physical and mental health states, the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape, and educational attainments,' Professor Deary told Neuroscience News.

Of course, head size is not the only factor. "The study [also] supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence," said researcher Saskia Hagenaars.

The researchers looked at 17 genes which affect brain function and impact mental and physical health.

The new evidence is so accurate experts claim it could even predict how likely it was that a baby would go to university based on their DNA. 

This builds on evidence from a study by the same team earlier this year - which found clever people are more likely to be healthier than those with a lower IQ.

This is due to a genetic link between how our bodies manage diseases and intelligence.

Another study shows that smart people live longer!

The results of the Edinburgh-based study published in January built on previous research that found 95 percent of the link between intelligence and life expectancy is genetic.

Using a study on twins experts from the London School of Economics found brighter twins tend to live longer and noted the pattern was much more pronounced in fraternal - nonidentical - twins, than identical pairs.

By looking at both fraternal twins - who only share half their twin's DNA - with identical twins, researchers were also able to distinguish between genetic effects and environmental factors, including housing, schooling, and childhood nutrition.

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