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Michigan State UniversityCognitive Science Program

Evolutionary studies of music cognition: the rise of cross-species research

Dr. Aniruddh Patel, Tufts University

Monday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m., 118 Psychology

Abstract

Music is ancient and universal in human societies. The growing research on the cognitive neuroscience of music over the past two decades has led to renewed interest in the evolutionary foundations of human musical behavior. At present, scholarly opinion is sharply divided on whether human minds have been specifically shaped by evolution to support music processing. One view (dating back to Darwin) argues that musical behavior originated as biologically adaptive trait in human ancestors. In sharp contrast, another prominent view argues that musical behavior is a cultural invention which arose without any special impetus from biology. While these debates continue today, a new approach to the evolutionary study of music has recently been growing. This approach focuses on empirical cross-species research aimed at understanding the evolutionary history of specific components of music cognition. This approach has already revealed surprising differences between humans and other species in the processing of basic aspects of musical pitch and rhythm. I will describe several such findings based on research with birds, primates, and marine mammals, and discuss how these findings illuminate our understanding of how humans came to be musical.

Suggested Reading

Patel, A.D. (2014). The evolutionary biology of musical rhythm: Was Darwin wrong? PLoS Biology, 12(3): e1001821. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001821 [pdf]

Takeya, R., Kameda, M., Patel, A.D., & Tanaka, M. (2017). Predictive and tempo-flexible synchronization to a visual metronome in monkeys. Scientific Reports 7, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-06417-3 [pdf]

MSU CogSci in the News and Announcements

8.18.2017
Prof. Arun Ross was one of four panelists in a BBC Newshour Extra program titled Facing the Future, moderated by journalist Owen Bennet Jones. The panel discussed advancements made from automated face recognition and also personal privacy and biometrics. [link]

7.31.2017
Prof. William Hartmann was awarded the 2017 Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Gold Medal for his contributions to the field of acoustics. His research has dealt with the perceptual analysis of sounds from varying sources, processing pitch, how humans localize sounds in space, and more. [link]

6.22.2017
Profs. Devin McAuley and Natalie Phillips received an NSF Grant, The Role of Narrative in Musical Beat Perception, to study the factors which shape narrative listening to music and the relationship between narrative listening and other aspects of musical perception. [link]

4.11.2017
Prof. Arun Ross and his colleague from NYU have had their research on the security of mobile fingerprint scanning featured in The New York Times, MSU Today, Popular Science, Homeland Security News Wire, and Science 360 News.

3.23.2017
Professors Arun Ross, Xiaoming Liu, and Anil Jain received a 4-year grant from IARPA to conduct research on Presentation Attack Detection for fingerprint, face and iris biometric systems. [link]

2.28.2017
CSE student Thomas Swearingen and his adviser Prof. Arun Ross won the runner up award for best paper at ISBA 2017. [link]

1.23.2017
Research on laptop use and classroom learning by Prof. Susan Ravizza, Mitchell Uitvlugt, and Prof. Kim Fenn was featured in US News, BYU Radio, The Conversation, and numerous higher education journals [1, 2, 3, 4].

1.17.2017
Prof. Cristina Schmitt received an NSF Grant, Effects of Variation and Variability in the Acquisition of Two Dialects of Spanish, to study first language acquisition of Spanish in the context of variability caused by contact between two very different varieties of Spanish: Paraguayan Spanish, which is heavily influenced by Guaraní (an indigenous language), and Rioplatense Spanish (spoken in Buenos Aires). [link]

1.1.2017
Prof. Aline Godfroid received a Language Learning Early Career Research Grant for her validation project on "Measuring implicit and explicit L2 knowledge: Synthesizing 12 years of research."

11.1.2016
Prof. Mark Becker has published five papers so far this year in Perception,Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,Packaging Technology and Science,Visual Cognition, and Applied Ergonomics.

10.3.2016
Sunpreet Arora and Anil Jain were part of a team that won Best Paper at BioSig 2016 for their paper titled "3D Whole Hand Targets: Evaluating Slap and Contactless Fingerprint Readers".

10.3.2016
Dr. Anil Jain was part of a team that won Best Poster at BioSig 2016 for a poster titled "Advances in Capturing Child Fingerprints: A High Resolution CMOS Image Sensor with SLDR Method".

9.27.2016
Dr. Anil Jain and Dr. Arun Ross were awarded a three-year NSF grant under the Secure & Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program for their proposal entitled "Imparting Privacy to Biometric Data in Cyberspace".

9.25.2016
Dr. Arun Ross (with Dr. Nasir Memon, NYU) was awarded a three-year NSF grant for their project entitled "The Master Print: Investigating and Addressing Vulnerabilities in Fingerprint-based Authentication Systems".

8.8.16
Science writer Carl Sherman's story on stuttering for the Dana Foundation website, titled Seeking Clues to Stuttering Deep Within the Brain, featured research by Prof. Devin McAuley.

Summer 2016
Dr. Mark Becker was invited by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to present his work investigating individual differences in cognition and personality that predict rare target detection at their Workshop on Developing Personnel Selection Tools for Forensic Scientists.

Summer 2016
Prof. Mark Reimers and colleague Bruce McNaughton received an NSF grant to study the dynamics of hippocampal-cortical communication during memory formation and recall.

Summer 2016
Prof. Susan Ravizza became a senior editor for the journal Brain Research.

Summer 2016
Prof. Mark Reimers received a Templeton Foundation grant to study the molecular coherence of genetic variants related to behavioral traits, including IQ.

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