Provisional evidence that the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene is associated with musical memory

Roni Y. Granot*, Yoav Frankel, Vladimir Gritsenko, Elad Lerer, Inga Gritsenko, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Salomon Israel, Richard P. Ebstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In a preliminary pilot study, 82 university students were administered an extensive battery of musical and phonological memory tasks; their scores were examined for an association with promoter repeats in the arginine vasopressin 1a receptor and serotonin transporter genes. We previously showed that these genes were associated with another music-related phenotype, creative dance. Highly significant Gene×Gene epistatic interactions were observed between promoter region polymorphisms and musical as well as phonological memory using family-based and population-based tests. Given the prominent role of vasopressin in social behavior, the preliminary association found in our study between musical memory and vasopressin could serve to support evolutionary accounts postulating a social adaptive role in music, such as mother-infant communication, sexual selection, group cohesion, and even early protolanguage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Arginine vasopressin 1a receptor gene
  • Music evolution
  • Musical memory
  • Serotonin transporter gene


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