GENES: Bringing music to your ears?

Originally published in 2014

The following story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland).

Multiple regions in the human genome are reported to be linked to musical aptitude, according to a new study. The function of the candidate genes implicated in the study ranges from inner-ear development to auditory neurocognitive processes, suggesting that musical aptitude is affected by a combination of genes involved in the auditory pathway. The perception of music starts with specialized hair cells in the inner ear, which transmit sounds as electronic signals through the auditory pathway to the auditory cortex, where sounds are primarily recognized. In addition to simple sensory perception, the processing of music has been shown to affect multiple other regions of the brain that play a role in emotion, learning and memory

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