Category: Neuroscience

Is Music for Wooing, Mothering….or Auditory Cheesecake? (via Discover Magazine)

In continuation with yesterday’s post about music, I’m sharing another article that inquires about the roots of it all 🙂 Enjoy!

{Feel free to note that the University of Washington in Seattle is represented in the article. This is because the UW is awesome.}

Is Music for Wooing, Mothering, Bonding—or Is It Just “Auditory Cheesecake”?


Older than civilization, music fosters communication, wellness, and bonding across all cultures—but where it comes from is disputed.

by Carl Zimmer


For more writing from Discover blogger Carl Zimmer, see his new ebook, Brain Cuttings: Fifteen Journeys Through the Mind.

When Charles Darwin listened to music, he asked himself, what is it for? Philosophers had pondered the mathematical beauty of music for thousands of years, but Darwin wondered about its connection to biology. Humans make music just as beavers build dams and peacocks show off their tail feathers, he reasoned, so music must have evolved. What drove its evolution was hard for him to divine, however. “As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least direct use to man in reference to his ordinary habits of life, they must be ranked among the most mysterious with which he is endowed,” Darwin wrote in 1871.

Today a number of scientists are trying to solve that mystery by looking at music right where we experience it: in the brain. They are scanning the activity that music triggers in our neurons and observing how music alters our biochemistry. But far from settling on a single answer, the researchers are in a pitched debate over music. Some argue that it evolved in our ancestors because it allowed them to have more children. Others see it as merely a fortunate accident of a complex brain.

…Read the entire article, get a new conversation starter, and feel generally smarter  at


“What a tuuune!” – A Scientifically Good Song (via B Good Science Blog)

You know you want the details 🙂

Why this is interesting: it touches on the larger questions regarding WHY certain music makes us feel good, or sad, or pensive, or pumped…granted, there’s a much larger body of variables involved, but this is one piece 🙂


(Hurrah for the B Good Science Blog, by the way… I’m already a big fan!)

"What a tuuune!" - A Scientifically Good Song It’s a Saturday night, you are about to hit the town. There are many things that can affect how good the impending night out is going to be, the quality of the company, amount of alcohol consumed, making it home with all your possessions. The music also obviously plays a key part in the night and scientists have proved that certain songs can create feelings of euphoria and an almost drug like high, observable in the brain. So what music is scient … Read More

via B Good Science Blog

Neuroscience Cases: The Man Who Could Not Forget (via B Good Science Blog)

I’ve found another blogcrush, thanks to Freshly Pressed (Word Press’ roundup on groovy blogs).

Enjoy your brainfood 🙂

Neuroscience Cases: The Man Who Could Not Forget How many times have you been sat revising for an exam wishing that you had the power of a perfect instantaneous memory? Well, for a tiny number of people that isn’t just a pipe dream. Known as mnemonists these individuals have unfathomable memories and data recall. This is the story of one of the first properly studied, and most interesting cases, Solomon Shereshevskii. Born in Russia in 1886 to a Jewish family Shereshevskii, or simply ‘S’ as he … Read More

via B Good Science Blog