Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: chris on 19/04/2017 09:42:31

Title: What role does genetics play in musical ability?
Post by: chris on 19/04/2017 09:42:31
Jeffrey is wondering:

What role does Genetics play in Musical ability? My daughter and son are adept at playing music and I could not carry a tune in a bucket so to say. I enjoy music and appreciate it when it is played right I just cannot seem to play it right myself.

What does everyone think?
Title: Re: What role does genetics play in musical ability?
Post by: tkadm30 on 21/04/2017 10:59:29
Music and Dopamine

The curious Finnish investigators examined 24,000 genes of 48 people while they listened to Mozart’s third violin concerto—a dramatic, soul stirring composition. The analysis results were compared that of a control group—participants not listening to music.

One of the genes in the Mozart-hearing group that was “turned on” by musical vibrations is called synuclein-alpha (SNCA). The gene is stationed on a chromosome in a genome area related to musical aptitude.

SNCA is also involved with the release and distribution of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is associated with uplifted mood, and motivation because of its effect on our brain’s pleasure and reward center.
Title: Re: What role does genetics play in musical ability?
Post by: puppypower on 21/04/2017 12:21:27
The cerebellum, located in the lower back of the brain, receives information from the sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements. The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech, resulting in smooth and balanced muscular activity.


The cerebellum is critical to playing music, since playing music is based on muscular coordination and timing. If someone is part of a band or an orchestra, they need to listen to and coordinate with the music of other instruments, while maintaining their own coordination and timing if necessary. This wiring can be developed through practice. Sports make a lot of use of the cerebellum. The cerebellum gives that touch to the ball.

The neurons in the cerebellum are very similar to those in the cerebral matter. The main difference is they are not as extensively branched. This similarity and simplicity may be why music appreciation is universal and often does not decline even with brain diseases like Alzheimers which impact the cerebral matter. When we listen to music, the sounds can filter through  the cerebellum inducing coordinated foot tapping and dance all the way to lip synch and air guitar.

What the similarity between the neurons of the cerebellum and cerebral also suggests is coordinated movement, timing, such as from music, may be emulated by the cerebral; copy of a disk image, providing a foundation of similar wiring in the cerebral that underlies the coordination and timing behind thinking.This could explain why classical music increases IQ in children. The music induces the cerebellum, which is emulated in the cerebral to establish a foundation of similar wiring for verbal and conceptual coordination and timing.

Nature tends to build on what works rather than lay a bunch of separate foundations. The cerebellum is grounded on the graceful coordinated movement of the animal.