Washington, May 20 : University of Helsinki researchers have identified several genes and genetic variants that may regulate musical aptitude.
Their findings stem from molecular and statistical genetic studies in 15 Finnish families.
The researchers determined musical aptitude with the help of three tests: a test for auditory structuring ability (Karma Music test), and the Seashore pitch and time discrimination subtests.
They claim that theirs was the first systematic molecular genetic study aimed at identifying candidate genes that are crucial to musical aptitude.
According to the researchers, the identified regions contain genes affecting cell extension and migration during neural development.
The research team also found an overlapping region previously associated with genetic locus for dyslexia to raise a question about common evolutionary background of music and language faculties.
Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that musical aptitude is likely to be regulated by several predisposing genes/variants.
"The identification of genes/genetic variants involved in mediating music perception and performance would offer new tools to understand the role of music in human brain function, human evolution and its relationship to language faculty", says the leader of the study, Dr. Irma Jarvela from the University of Helsinki.