5-speed listening (Music and Genes - Level 2)

Ability to move to the beat of music is genetic






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We all love to move to music. We cannot stop tapping our foot or nodding our head when we listen to music. New research says moving our body to music is genetic. Our dancing ability is in our genes. Our parents pass their sense of rhythm down to us. The study is from a university and a genomics and biotechnology company in the USA. Researchers found 69 genes that change how we react to musical rhythms. The different genes affect our ability to move in sync with music beats. The genes also change other biological rhythms, such as breathing, walking and sleeping.

The researchers used data on over 600,000 people. A researcher said the large number of people gave a "unique opportunity" to get "even small genetic signals". He added: "This research represents a leap forward for scientific understanding of the links between genetics and musicality." Another researcher said: "Rhythm is not just influenced by a single gene. It is influenced by many hundreds of genes." She said tapping, clapping and dancing in sync with music beats "is at the core of our human musicality". Doctors could use music and rhythms to make us healthier.

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