Mom Gives Daughter Her Emotional Brain Structure

Posted on March 8, 2016

Photo: flickr

A study of 35 families led by a UC San Francisco psychiatric researcher showed for the first time that the structure of the brain circuitry known as the corticolimbic system is more likely to be passed down from mothers to daughters than from mothers to sons or from fathers to children of either gender.

The corticolimbic system governs emotional regulation and processing and plays a role in mood disorders, including depression.

The finding does not mean that mothers are necessarily responsible for their daughters' depression, Hoeft said. "Many factors play a role in depression -- genes that are not inherited from the mother, social environment, and life experiences, to name only three. Mother-daughter transmission is just one piece of it.

"But this is the first study to bridge animal and human clinical research and show a possible matrilineal transmission of human corticolimbic circuitry, which has been implicated in depression, by scanning both parents and offspring," said Hoeft, who directs the UCSF Hoeft Laboratory for Educational Neuroscience. "It opens the door to a whole new avenue of research looking at intergenerational transmission patterns in the human brain."


Category(s):Parenting

Source material from University of California - San Francisco


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