(ANSA) – ROME, JUNE 09 – From gloomy to ringing, the tone of the voice is decided by genes: this is revealed by a study published in the journal Science Advances and conducted by deCODE genetics, of Amgen. The company has discovered sequence variants (mutations) in the ABCC9 gene that affect the intonation of the voice.
Talking is one of the most distinctive human behaviors, yet the genetic basis of voice and language remain largely unknown. In the first study of its kind, the scientists combined the voice recordings of nearly 13,000 Icelanders with genome sequence data. In doing so, they identified common mutations in the ABCC9 gene that are associated with a higher-pitched voice.
Scientists have found that these ABCC9 variants are associated with higher pitch of voice in both men and women. The same sequence variants are also linked to increased pulse pressure, a cardiovascular risk factor, highlighting links between voice intonation and health-related traits.
In addition to voice intonation, the study analyzed the genetics of vowel acoustics. Although vowel sounds are influenced by culture and context, scientists have found that they also contain a heritable component, possibly related to the shape of the vocal tract and its effect on vowel sounds.
The findings shed new light on voice diversity and contribute to a better understanding of the human vocal system. (HANDLE).
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