01 December 2008

The genes of artistry

Marina Astvatsaturyan, Echo of Moscow

Studying the genetic basis of creativity, neuroscientists from the University of Toronto have identified 2 genes that are involved in the performing arts.

These two genes (DRD4 and COMT) are involved in the transmission of dopamine, a chemical carrier of signals between nerve cells of the brain. Certain variants of these genes were found in 15 out of 58 professional dancers, musicians and actors (i.e., almost a quarter of the surveyed), whereas in the control group, which consisted of 36 people who were not noticed in one or another performance, the same variants met only once.

An examination of the brain with visualization, which was conducted with all the subjects, the so-called functional imaging, showed that the artists had a greater activity of the frontal lobe than in the control group, which plays a critical role in the processes of memorization and simultaneous manipulation of various information. Interpreting these data, scientists admit that the observed inequality of the two groups may be partly due to the long-term practice of artists, but it only complements the genetic advantages of performers. And, as one of the authors of the study, Laura Petitto, says, "combinations of genetic variants may be associated with creative achievements rather than specific genetic variants themselves."

Along with the search for additional variants of genes involved in creative activity, Canadian scientists intend to cover with their future research recognized virtuosos, artists who are at the top of performing skills. The results of the study already conducted were presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Neurobiological Society (Society for Neuroscience) in Washington.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version