Do you struggle to hear musical sounds or beats? As the latest episode of BrainCraft explains, you’re not alone.
Around 4 percent of the population is born with the condition, which is called amusia, and is a deficit in the brain’s ability to process music.
In the episode above, BrainCraft creator Vanessa Hill talks about Mrs L, a healthy 67-year-old who suffers from amusia. Mrs L describes listening to music as pots and pans being thrown around the kitchen, and opera sounds like screaming to her ears.
Hers is a severe case, but there are also milder forms that involve either tone deafness, where people can’t identify a musical note, or beat deafness, which is an inability to move in time to rhythm.
Scientists still aren’t sure what’s happening in some people’s brains to interrupt the process of perceiving a beat in our auditory cortex and then translating it into motion, but it's something they're actively researching.
They’re also studying which animals can and can’t move to a beat, to shed some light on the process of hearing music.
The good news is, it turns out there really could be a scientific reason why you can’t dance.
Take the test in the episode above to find out whether you might be suffering from beat deafness. And watch the amazing footage of Snowball the cockatoo dancing to the Backstreet Boys. You’re welcome.