26 Jan The Wild World of Music: What Can Elephants, Birds, And Flamenco Players Teach A Neuroscientist-Composer About Music?
ABSTRACT: This article by Burkhard Bilger, published in the New York Magazine, explores the growing body of evidence that it’s not just humans who have an aptitude for making and enjoying listening to music. The author describes in great detail the way researchers are uncovering broad similarities in the way not just mammalian brains work, but even those farther from humans on the evolutionary tree, such as birds. The commonalities all these brains have in their neurochemistry suggest that we perceive the world in similar ways, too, including with sound. It should therefore be no surprise that other animals would have similar reactions to music. However, research in this area has been challenged by decades of warnings against anthropomorphizing animal behavior; in other words, that human behavior is separate and distinct from animal behavior. What is so exciting is the way that recent experiments and observations have shown that instead of this complete separation from the rest of the animal kingdom, we exist alongside animals on a continuum, as we share so many common biochemical and evolutionary traits. We certainly perceive many things, not just music, differently from other animals, but those differences mask the many commonalities. What’s most exiting about this is the potential to better understand music’s impact on humans, and especially for things like memory loss and social and emotional learning. While this article takes a lighter-hearted view of the subject, it does an excellent job of highlighting current breakthroughs in our understand of how the brain (human or otherwise) has a tendency to enjoy music.
AUTHOR SUMMARY: Burkhard Bilger
READ MORE: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/04/03/david-sulzer-profile-neuroscience-music?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Magazine_Daily_032723&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&utm_term=tny_weekly_digest&bxid=6056d064bbdf75726e62d17b&cndid=64257766&hasha=99df7cdf8b31719c6e1a256024adb656&hashb=b834c342c0b979fcf3343bdaa5907cab85ee41ad&hashc=b816ce23cd6ef1099d3befc72e2529fe5fdaf01634684e7a0edac666fe9fab4a&esrc=AUTO_PRINT