New research out of the University of Calgary suggests children with two parents instead of one could have healthier brains later in life.

Scientists with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute divided mice into different groups of pups raised by different combinations of parents, then waited until the pups reached adulthood to look for an impact on brain cell production.

"When the babies became older, they had two to three times more brain cell production," said Samuel Weiss, the senior author of the study.

"And that made their behaviours stronger — the brain was stronger, their behaviours were stronger, they were able to perform socially, physically better in their environment." 

Weiss says the advantages of dual parenting are also passed onto the next generation of mice.

"The level of adult brain cell production is actually determined early on in development, and the numbers of parents could actually determine that, based on the amount of attention that they can give for their babies," he said.