Credit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

If you can't keep the beat you can partly blame your genes

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Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Observational study: A study in which the subject is observed to see if there is a relationship between two or more things (eg: the consumption of diet drinks and obesity). Observational studies cannot prove that one thing causes another, only that they are linked.

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Having good rhythm and being able to move in time to the beat is at least in part explained by our genes, according to Australian and international researchers who have identified 69 different genetic variants linked with the ability to keep in time to a beat. Many of the genes were expressed in the brain including some already linked to behaviour, depression, schizophrenia, and developmental delay, which the authors say suggests a biological connection with brain development. The research also showed that musicians tend to have more of these genetic variants suggesting they're important for broader musicality.

Journal/conference: Nature Human Behaviour

Link to research (DOI): 10.1038/s41562-022-01359-x

Organisation/s: The University of Melbourne, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA

Funder: The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund through the Office of the NIH Director and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders under awards DP2HD098859, K18DC017383 and R01DC016977 to R.L.G. J.A.C. was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R35GM127087). E.E. was supported by the Max Planck Society.


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