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First study to show link between AVPR1A gene variants with listening to music

April 01, 2016

Recent genetic studies have shown familial aggregation of tone deafness, absolute pitch, musical aptitude and creative functions in music. In this study, willingness to listen to music and the level of music education varied in pedigrees.

This is one of the first studies where listening to music has been explored at molecular level, and the first study to show association between arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A) gene variants with listening to music. Previously, an association between AVPR1A and musical aptitude has been reported. AVPR1A gene is a gene that has been associated with social communication and attachment behavior in human and other species. The vasopressin homolog increases vocalization in birds and influences on breeding of lizards and fishes. The results suggest biological contribution to the sound perception (here listening to music), provide a molecular evidence of sound or music's role in social communication, and are providing tools for further studies on gene-culture evolution in music.

Source: University of Helsinki