A sense of rhythm could be a family trait, according to a new study. 

Researchers say having good rhythm and being able to move in time to the beat is at least in part explained by genetics. 

In a new study, Australian and international researchers identified 69 different genetic variants linked with the ability to keep in time to a beat. 

Many of the genes were expressed in the brain including some already linked to behaviour, depression, schizophrenia, and developmental delay, which the authors say suggests a biological connection with brain development. 

“Genetic correlations with breathing function, motor function, processing speed and chronotype suggest shared genetic architecture with beat synchronisation,” the study says.

The research also shows that musicians tend to have more of these genetic variants suggesting they are important for broader musicality.

The experts note that beats and rhythms are very important to the growing brain. 

“Even young children are sensitive to the social and linguistic signals carried by rhythm, and parents use rhythmic vocalizations and synchronous movement (for example, lullabies and rocking) to interact with their infants from birth,” the study says.