Genetics of Music

“FOXP1, one of the candidate genes discovered, has been previously found to affect both human language development and songbirds’ singing. The researchers also identified RGS9 as another gene that is implicated in song learning and singing in songbirds. RGS9 is expressed in the corpus striatum together with dopamine receptors. The striatum is activated by expectations in music. When those expectations are met, dopamine is released in the striatum giving the mind a sense of satisfaction. Another member of the RGS gene family, RGS2, is known to become activated when musicians play music. “

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