Navigation Links
Humans and Birds May Have Music in Common
Date:1/11/2013

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Goo-goo over Gaga? Rhapsodic over Rachmaninoff? As most will attest, music has a powerful way of pushing emotional buttons. And now, new research suggests that many of the neural dynamics that control human reaction to song may be shared by another emitter of dulcet tones: birds.

According to a study recently published in Frontiers of Evolutionary Science, when male white-throated sparrows offer up their telltale "birdsong" to their breeding female counterparts, the female experiences the same kind of neurologically driven "reward" that humans do when hearing a favorite tune.

"Scientists since the time of Darwin have wondered whether birdsong and music may serve similar purposes, or have the same evolutionary precursors," Sarah Earp, a former undergraduate at Emory University, explained in a school news release. "But most attempts to compare the two have focused on the qualities of the sound themselves, such as melody and rhythm."

"We found that the same neural reward system is activated in female birds in the breeding state that are listening to male birdsong, and in people listening to music that they like," she said.

Earp's investigation began by reviewing previous research that used brain-imaging technology to map the human neural dynamic that unfolds when listening to music.

Emory lab work had focused on tracking activation of a biochemical marker known as "Egr-1," a key indicator of stimulus response.

Neurological mapping comparisons revealed that, when looking at reward pathways that exist in both humans and birds, the neural response to music observed in humans also kicks into similar gear among breeding female sparrows exposed to a male birdsong.

But timing, as they say, is everything, with non-breeding female birds showing no heightened response to a male's song, while male birds hearing another male "sing" experienced a response akin to that of a person forced to listen to music they hate.

"The neural response to birdsong appears to depend on social context, which can be the case with humans as well," Earp said. "Both birdsong and music elicit responses not only in brain regions associated directly with reward, but also in interconnected regions that are thought to regulate emotion. That suggests that they both may activate evolutionarily ancient mechanisms that are necessary for reproduction and survival."

The caveat: Bird brains are not human brains, and many neural reward pathways are not shared between species. But Earp, now a Stravinsky-loving medial student at Cleveland Clinic, looks forward to digging deeper on the same subject.

"Perhaps techniques will someday be developed," she suggested, "(that) image neural responses in baleen whales, whose songs are both musical and learned, and whose brain anatomy is more easily compared with humans."

More information

The U.S. Library of Congress has more on music and the brain.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCE: Emory University, news release, December 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Sheds Light on Evolution of Tree-Dwelling Humans
2. Gut Bacteria Often Similar in Humans, Chimps: Study
3. First trial in humans of minicells: A completely new way of delivering anti-cancer drugs
4. Testing pain killers on humans could save money and speed the arrival of new drugs
5. Lust May Dampen Humans Sense of Disgust, Study Suggests
6. Ancient Genome Appears to Have Links to Modern Humans
7. More clues about why chimps and humans are genetically different
8. New insights into why humans are more susceptible to cancer and other diseases
9. First evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost risk of cancer
10. New Seal Flu Could Pose Threat to Humans
11. Humans Might Be Hard-Wired to Love Thy Neighbor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Humans and Birds May Have Music in Common
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and ... for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of the ... new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and ... pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa ... contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Women-owned and ... 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and Brightest. OnSite Wellness will ... Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry Autograph ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Farm Forward joins Bon ... leading institutions in announcing the launch of the Leadership Circle , a ... are raised for food. , Founding members of the Leadership Circle also include ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)...   Divoti USA will engrave and process ... of the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical ... need of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can ... in terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  True Health, a leader in ... effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to ... Research recently ... that more than 10 million American women are ... BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017   Provista, a ... than $100 billion in purchasing power, today announced a ... information. The Newsroom is the online home ... trends, infographics, expert bios, news releases, slideshows and events. ... to a wealth of resources at their fingertips, viewers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: