Depression can easily pass down from a mother to her daughter

Hands of a mother and her daughter (Source:
Hands of a mother and her daughter (Source:

Main Point:

Emotions can easily move down from mother to her daughter, i.e. daughters have more chances of getting from their mother a brain structure that is involved in emotion, especially depression.

Published in:

Journal of Neuroscience

Study Further:

Researchers from University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) studied the brains of 35 families by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They found that the corticolimbic system, a structure of the brain circuitry, can pass down from mothers to their daughters, and these chances of moving down the structure in generations is more than the moving down of the structure from mothers to sons or from fathers to their daughters or sons.

The corticolimbic system consists of hippocampus, amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex, and is involved in the control of emotions and has an important role in mood disorders such as depression.

Researchers have reported that this research is not showing that mothers are responsible for the development of depression in their daughters.

“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 lead author Fumiko Hoeft, who is a UCSF associate professor of psychiatry.

“It opens the door to a whole new avenue of research looking at intergenerational transmission patterns in the human brain,” stated Hoeft.


UCSF – Brain Structure Governing Emotion Is Passed Down From Mother To Daughter, Says UCSF Study –

Yamagata, B., Murayama, K., Black, J., Hancock, R., Mimura, M., Yang, T., Reiss, A., & Hoeft, F. (2016). Female-Specific Intergenerational Transmission Patterns of the Human Corticolimbic Circuitry Journal of Neuroscience, 36 (4), 1254-1260 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4974-14.2016

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."