News of the WeekBehavioral Genetics

Study Suggests Pitch Perception Is Inherited

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Science  09 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5510, pp. 1879
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5510.1879a

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By studying twins' ability to perceive sour notes in familiar tunes, a U.S.-British team concludes on page 1969 that the perception of relative pitch is highly heritable and is dependent on higher brain functions. And that, say geneticists, means that pitch perception may offer a window into brain processes that are also used in language.