Musical talent has been located in the human brain, according to research led by a Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) team, and reported in Cerebral Cortex. Also discovered, the teams reported: a part of the brain that changes as people acquire musical skills—entirely apart from talent.

“In the past decades, the possibility of changing the adult brain through training and experience has raised a lot of interest, and musical training has proven an excellent model to study this,” lead author and German Center for Neurological Diseases neuroscientist Sibylle Herholz, Ph.D., told Bioscience Technology. “Only recently researchers have begun to study individual differences regarding predisposition for learning. In our study, we find evidence for both training-related plasticity, and predisposition for learning. And we were able to distinguish the corresponding neural correlates.”