In the News

Beethoven’s genes reveal low predisposition for beat synchronization

Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most celebrated musicians in human history, has a rather low genetic predisposition for beat synchronization, according to a Current Biology study co-authored by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the Max Planck Institutes for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Music as Medicine: December NIH Workshop Featured Ongoing Work of Our Lab

The work of the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab was featured many times during the "Music as Medicine" workshop, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and jointly organized by NIH, the NEA, the Renée Fleming Foundation, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which took place December 14–15, 2023. The event aimed to highlight accomplishments from the last 6 years in advancing scientific research on music and health, develop a blueprint for the next phase of research, and further build the research community.

How Rhythm and Song Support Infant Social Development

Music and singing are some of the most common forms of social interaction and play during early childhood. Caregivers all over the world sing to their infants to engage or soothe them. Seemingly simple acts, like singing to and engaging in musical games with young children, can profoundly impact children, caregivers, and their relationship with each other.

New Research: Singing to Your Baby Helps Their Speech and Language Development

It’s a special feeling to hold your baby and look at them as they look back at you. You and your baby might do this as you rock in a rocking chair, make silly faces, or sing a nursery rhyme. 

Study finds sensitivity to musical rhythm supports social development in infants

Engaging infants with a song provides a readymade means for supporting social development and interaction, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine enrolled 112 infants who were either 2 months or 6 months old.

We Got the Beat

There might be something to the saying, “you’ve got the music in you.” A new genetic study in the journal Nature Human Behavior led by researchers at Vanderbilt University and 23andMe found more than 60 regions of the genome associated with beat synchronization, the ability to move in time with the beat of music.