Friday Music: Music in the brain: The first imaging genetic study linking dopaminergic genes to music

December 21, 2016


Sounds, such as music and noise, are capable of reliably affecting individuals’ moods and emotions, possibly by regulating brain dopamine, a neurotransmitter strongly involved in emotional behavior and mood regulation.

However, the relationship of sound environments with mood and emotions is highly variable across individuals. A putative source of variability is genetic background.
In this regard, a new imaging genetics study directed by Professor Elvira Brattico from Aarhus University and conducted in two Italian hospitals in collaboration with the University of Helsinki (Finland) has provided the first evidence that the effects of music and noise on affective behavior and brain physiology are associated with genetically determined dopamine functionality.
In particular, this study, published in the journal Neuroscience, revealed that a functional variation in dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2 rs1076560) modulates the impact of music as opposed to noise on mood states and emotion-related prefrontal and striatal brain activity, evidencing a differential susceptibility for the affect-modulatory effects of music and noise on the GG and GT genotypes.
In more details, results showed mood improvement after music exposure in GG subjects and mood deterioration after noise exposure in GT subjects. Moreover, the music as opposed to noise environment decreased the striatal activity of GT subjects as well as the prefrontal activity of GG subjects while processing emotional faces.
These results are novel in identifying a biological source of variability in the impact of sound environments on emotional responses. The first author of the study, Tiziana Quarto, Ph.D. student at University of Helsinki under supervision of Prof. Brattico, further comments:
“Our approach allowed the observation of the link between genes and phenotypes via a true biological path that goes from functional genetic variations (for which the effects on molecular function is known) to brain physiology subtending behavior. The use of this approach is especially important when the investigated behavior is complex and very variable across subjects, because this means that many biological factors are involved”.
“This study represents the first use of the imaging genetics approach in the field of music and sounds in general. We are really excited about our results because they suggest that even a non-pharmacological intervention such as music, might regulate mood and emotional responses at both the behavioral and neuronal level,” says Professor Elvira Brattico.
“More importantly, these findings encourage the search for personalized music-based interventions for the treatment of brain disorders associated with aberrant dopaminergic neurotransmission as well as abnormal mood and emotion-related brain activity”.
Study design: basic research.
Principal Investigator on the study was: Professor Elvira Brattico, Center for Music in the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University.
The study was performed in collaboration with: Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience, and Sense Organs, University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Bari, Italy.

Frida Music – yamore – Salif Keita & Cesaria

yamore – Salif Keita & Cesaria …. Friday music

…something for when winter is just beginning its end and you smell summer from far away, only it’s unclear if the scent comes from the past, a future, or if it even matters.

Friday music – Funk

Friday music – Funk

Funk:1. Music
a. An earthy quality appreciated in music such as jazz or soul.
b. A type of popular music combining elements of jazz, blues, and soul and characterized by syncopated rhythm and a heavy, repetitive bass line.
c:..that which appears after typing ‘Jazz, Flu, Virus’ on Youtube between one cough and another because, well, you feel sort of like a pea and potato puree left outside the fridge overnight and, well again, typing Jazz, Flu, Virus on youtube at that point doesn’t seem irrational…
c…quello che appare quando digiti ‘Jazz, Flu, Virus’ su youtube tra una tosse e un’altra perché ti senti come una puree di patate lasciato fuori tutta notte e non ti va di fare qualcosa di meglio.

Weekend Recipe – pasta noir: Mozart’s Vegetable and Salmon Pasta Minuet (263 this month)

Mozart’s Pasta Minuet

“I am happier when I have something to compose, for that…is my sole delight.” Letter to his father.

300 grams of short pasta
2 medium zucchini
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
1 small bunch of dandelion greens
1 small package of smoked salmon
3 medium tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Dill Weed
Sesame Seed

Serves 3.

With a small precise knife, cut the zucchini, asparagus, greens, tomatoes, smoked salmon and garlic into tiny little pieces.  Put olive oil into a skillet and heat until it starts to merrily pop.  Add tiny pieces of garlic, zucchini and asparagus to the mixture and using two well-tuned wooden spoons, toss vigorously in the air as they are cooking.  The kitchen should be alive with tiny pieces of vegetable flying all over the place.  Don’t worry if some escape from the pan.  Enough will remain to blend harmoniously with other ingredients.
When the pasta is close to done, add the greens, tomatoes and salmon to the sauce, again using spoons to toss gleefully into the air, creating a quick colorful succession of tiny little pieces bobbing up and down, to and fro.  For added variety and flavor, add dill weed and sesame seed, allowing them to join the lively dance in the kitchen.
When pasta is done, strain and add to the sauce.  Open a sparkling red wine that fizzes and bubbles in counter time as you vigorously toss pasta and sauce with the wooden spoons to mix.  Serve immediately, ignoring critics who accuse you of using too many ingredients. -by Susan Cook

The real recipe: Slice the garlic and sauté in a pan with some olive oil. Add the asparagus pieces, beginning with the stems, then the tips and finally the chopped zucchini. Season to taste. Boil the short pasta, butterfly or penne. When the pasta has only a few minutes left to boil, add the peeled and seeded tomatoes, then the roughly chopped greens, and herbs to taste. Drain the pasta and mix it into the sauce, adding the pieces of salmon and a very little bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with something that fizzles.