Neuro Humanities Studies

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Grazia Pulvirenti, Renata Gambino, The paradox of Romantic ekphrasis. Metacritic discourse, perception and imagination in art descripti

Ekphrasis is a text genre based on the intertwining of visual and verbal features, involving the processes of both reading, and priming a visual image or a related action. We argue in this study that...

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Leonid Perlovsky,

The Role of Music in Evolution of the Mind and Consciousness

Source: Music, Evolution of the Mind

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Based on cognitive science and mathematical models of the mind, the paper describes a fundamental role music plays in the functioning and evolution of the mind, consciousness, and cultures. The paper considers a split in the vocalizations of proto-humans into two types: one less emotional and more concretely-semantic, evolving into language, and the other preserving emotional connections along with semantic ambiguity, evolving into music. The proposed hypothesis departs from other authors in considering specific mechanisms of the mind-brain, which required evolution of music parallel with evolution of cultures and languages. I argue that evolution of language toward the semantically powerful tool of today required emancipation from emotional encumbrances. I discuss opposite, no less powerful mechanisms that required a compensatory evolution of music toward more differentiated and refined emotionality. The need for refined music in the process of cultural evolution is grounded in fundamental mechanisms of the mind. This is why today’s human mind and cultures cannot exist without today’s music. The presented hypothesis gives a basis for future analysis of why different evolutionary paths of languages were paralleled by different evolutionary paths of music. I suggest experimental verifications of this hypothesis in psychological and neuroimaging research.


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