Babies born with larger heads are more likely to develop higher IQs and earn university degrees—at least, that’s the claim of a recent study.
After analyzing data from 100,000 Britons, which included blood/urine/saliva samples and information about their backgrounds/lives, researchers concluded that babies born with bigger heads have a higher likelihood of getting a degree and even scoring higher on IQ tests.
Published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, the study asserts:
“Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test scores . . . and many polygenic profile scores, including . . . intracranial volume, infant head circumference and childhood cognitive ability.”
The data was originally compiled by UK Biobank, which has over 500,000 samplings from people between the ages of 37 and 73.
Now, if your baby (or you, for that matter) happened to be born with small craniums, no need to worry: the study also found evidence suggesting that overall physical health can have a significant impact on intelligence.
“The study supports an existing theory which says that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence,” said researcher Saskia Hagenaars.
In addition to physical well-being, the researchers were able to identify 17 “significant” genes believed to directly affect brain function and mental health.
As for what constitutes a “large head”—don’t worry: your baby won’t need to have an unusually massive skull that will likely reduce his EQ scores as much as its raises his IQ.
No, the researchers say that babies whose heads are a circumference between 12.5 to 14 inches are most blessed with an intelligent future.