Tags: perfect | pitch | pill | valproate

Pill Can Give Anyone Perfect Pitch

By    |   Wednesday, 08 January 2014 03:32 PM

Can a pill give you perfect pitch? The surprising answer from a team of researchers at Harvard University: Yes.
In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, the Harvard investigators found that the drug Valproate — used as a mood stabilizer — appears to reset a biochemical switch in the brain that allows individuals to develop perfect pitch.
That ability, long believed to be in-born or learned only at an early age, allows certain people to sing a particular note in a musical scale without hearing it first or identify a note played on a piano, guitar, or other instrument, solely by ear.
Only about 0.01 percent of the general population has that ability and such individuals are often believed to be gifted with extraordinary natural musical talent.

According to a Medical Xpress report on the research, the Harvard team tested the drug on 24 young male volunteers with little or no musical backgrounds — none of whom had perfect pitch. After taking Valproate for 15 days, the participants were able to perform better on standard tests used to identify individuals with perfect pitch, compared to those taking an inactive placebo.
Although none of volunteers actually gained the ability completely, the study suggests Valproate can help people get there.

In a separate study, the researchers also found that adult mice given Valproate — a so-called HDAC inhibitor — were able to learn things that mice normally are only able to learn during the first few weeks of life.

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Harvard researchers have found a pill can give you perfect pitch.
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 03:32 PM
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