Friday, June 05, 2009
The genetics of musical aptitude
Ukkola et al. attempt to understand the neurobiological basis of music in human evolution and communication, motivated by the idea that a main function of music is human social communication. They find a correlation between variations in groups of genes associated with social bonding and cognitive functions and musical aptitude and creativity. They suggest that the neurobiology of music perception and production is likely to be related to the pathways affecting intrinsic attachment behavior. (By the way, in the same issue of PLoS ONE, Israel et al. correlate variations the vasopressin 1a receptor gene (AVPR1a) also monitored by Ukkola et al. with prosocial behavior in several game tasks).