[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Innate responses to sound

It might be useful to consier that "innate" doesn't necessarily imply
The idea that there might be phylogenetic development favouring
particular responses to particular sounds, seems attractive, but
evolutionery arguments tend to be circular, in the sense of 'survival
of the fittests' where "fittest" is defined as that which has
survived... you need a good evolutionery biologist to help you through
the minefield!

One way to try to get at "primitive" mechanisms might be to look to
developmental psychology, e.g Spelke, Eleanor Gibson, and others.


Dr. Peter Lennox
Signal Processing Applications Research Group
University of Derby
Int. tel: 3155

>>> Ross Rochford <digiology@xxxxxxxxx> 22/05/2008 00:03 >>>

I am considering for my thesis an exploration of innate responses to sounds,
that is, unlearned and presumably having evolved to serve some function. The
idea of the evolutionary lag where we have evolved to adapt to an
environment that existed thousands of years ago interests me, I wonder what
the implications of this are for how we respond to sound and how music
affects our mood.

I am looking for papers (or books) on responses to sound that are likely to
be innate in humans. Also papers that discuss the evolutionary origins of
our responses to sound and music and how our past environment (and tasks
therein, e.g. hunting) have shaped them. I am hoping for the kinds of
explanations that have been proposed for arachnophobia, that a fear of
spiders had survival advantage as we may have evolved among poisonous

While researching, I found a suggestion that our response to nails on a
blackboard is because of the similarity (of its spectrum) to the warning
call of macaque monkeys. Although I don't believe this is an adequate
explanation (the warning calls don't produce the same response as nails on a
blackboard in humans), it is similar to what I am looking for.

Any suggestions on where to start are greatly appreciated.