Absolute Pitch Might Now Be Possible With A Brain Altering Drug


Most of us don’t have “absolute pitch,” the ability to identify or sing a specific note without any reference point. Takao Hensch, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University, says this is a learned skill that is only attainable during a critical period early in our lives. A new pill might just change all that.

A new study by Hensch discusses a drug that would give humans the ability of perfect pitch, long after the critical learning period has passed. The drug known as valproate, is a mood stabilizer used for treating epilepsy that returns the brain to its “juvenile state.” This allows the learning of skills like perfect pitch according to The Verge.

“Valproate, another HDAC inhibitor, was given to a group of healthy young men with no musical training. The men were then asked to perform a set of exercises for two weeks with the aim of improving their pitch while another control group was asked to perform the same exercises, but given a placebo. According to the study, those subjects given valproate learned to identify pitch “significantly better than those taking the placebo.”

Hensch cautions against using the drug for this reason though, as “critical periods have evolved for a reason.” Careless use of the drug and Hensch warns you may run the risk of erasing identities.

So there you have it, take the drug and have perfect pitch while possibly losing your mind, or continue on with life just as you always have. Choices, choices… It all sounds like the plot of an ABC Family Channel/Syfy original movie, “Pitch Perfect Amnesia” the story of one girl’s opera dreams that became her own psychological nightmare.

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