amusia has a genetic component

Nature 434, 312 – 315 (17 March 2005); doi:10.1038/434312a

ROBERT ZATORRE

lesions of certain auditory cortical regions result in an unusual phenomenon: a highly selective problem with perceiving and interpreting music, termed ‘amusia’

People with this type of damage have no problem speaking or understanding speech, or making sense of everyday sounds. But they cannot notice wrong notes inserted into tunes, or recognize even the most familiar melody. Even more surprising is that a minority of otherwise normal individuals appear to be born with the same inability to recognize tunes. In some cases, the deficit seems to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.

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