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Fw: animals and music

> No one is likely to claim that nonhuman animals appreciate music just as
> humans do, but the extent to which they do (or, more importantly, do not)
> can teach us which aspects of music do make it uniquely human.  Be careful
> to prejudge as we see how "fur" we can get with these issues!
> Cheers,
> Stew Hulse

(and a chicken's favorite composer?  Bach, bach bach bach....)

I think Prof Hulse's point above is a good one - the study of how animals
to music can be a valuable contribution to understanding human responses to
music. I think animal models may become useful in differentiating the
'direct' effect on neurological circuits/chemical release s. 'indirect'
effects via higher order processing (e.g. via musical preferences, past
experience).  The former may be common to a range of listeners, including
possibly comatose patients, foetuses and animals, while the latter may be
reserved for humans (note the 'may'!).

Our work with chicks show that their memory is significantly improved by
*rhythmic* auditory stimuli but not by non-rhythmic stimuli - which means
they are cognitively sensitive to at least one musical universal.
  Toukhsati, S., & Rickard, N.S. (2004).  Journal of Comparative Psychology,
118 (1), 65-70.
  Toukhsati, S., & Rickard, N.S. (2001).  Journal of Comparative Psychology,
115(2), 132-139.

my 2 feathers,