VUMC researches tie between musical rhythm and our genes
If you've ever started drumming on the steering wheel while driving down Lower Broadway and hearing another cover of "Boot Scootin' Boogie" echo out of a honky tonk, you've got your DNA to thank.
- A new study out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center found an array of genes are involved in our ability to snap, shimmy and scoot to the beat.
State of play: The pioneering study, published last week, was led by Vanderbilt Genetics Institute research scientists in collaboration with the personal genomics company 23andMe.
- VUMC billed the work as the "first large-scale genome-wide association study of a musical trait."
Between the lines: The study used data from more than 600,000 participants to analyze genetic information that varied in association with people's musical rhythm.
- The findings underscore the connection between our biology and musical skill, although researchers pointed out that environmental factors also play a role in developing rhythm.
The intrigue: Researchers identified 69 genetic variants associated with beat synchronization, or their ability to move in time with the beat of music, according to a statement from VUMC.
- The study found beat synchronization shared some of the genetic underpinnings behind biological rhythms such as walking and breathing.
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