A brain chemical called GABA is the reason why “some people dance like Fred Astaire – while others have the natural rhythm of Ann Widdecombe”, the Daily Mail has reported.
The news is based on a study involving 12 healthy young adults who had their brains stimulated with electrodes to alter levels of GABA, one of the main chemicals regulating the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain. The subjects’ brain activity and reaction speed were then tested while they learned a task involving pressing buttons in response to visual cues, with the researchers looking at how performance related to normal and altered GABA levels.
The study was carried out by researchers from the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB), at the University of Oxford, and was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford. The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Current Biology.