There’s nothing quite like your mum for dispensing advice, support and comfort when you’re going through a tough time.
If you’ve ever wondered why your mum seems to understand you and relate to you far better than any other family member or if your daughters seem to know you better than anyone else, you’ll be interested in this new research.
A new study has found that mums and daughters share a structure of the brain which processes emotions. This means they are more likely to understand and share each other’s feelings.
Scientists made this interesting discovery while investigating why depression and mood disorders are often passed down from mother to daughter.
While examining MRI scans from parents and children of 35 families, researchers noticed a similarity in grey matter volume in parts of the brains of mums and their daughters.
They found positive associations in several parts of the brain, including the amygdala, which controls emotions and emotional behaviour.
"This association was significantly greater than mother–son, father–daughter, and father–son associations,” researchers explained in their findings published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
“Our study’s uniqueness is that we’re the first one to get the whole family and scan both parents and offspring to look at how similar their brain networks are", lead author Fumiko Hoeft from University of California told Scientific American.
"We joke about inheriting stubbornness or organization - but we’ve never actually seen that in human brain networks before. (This research) was a proof of impact”.
Researchers wish to investigate this phenomenon further by repeating the study with mothers who have suffered depression.
They believe their work has important implications for future research into depression, particularly for identifying young girls who might be at risk of developing depression or other mood disorders and treating inherited mood disorders.
It’s certainly a very interesting finding – what do you think mums? Do you feel as though your daughter or mother understands you better than any other family member? Let us know.