Re: Innate responses to sound (Peter Lennox )

Subject: Re: Innate responses to sound
From:    Peter Lennox  <P.Lennox@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Fri, 23 May 2008 12:32:07 +0100

It might be useful to consier that "innate" doesn't necessarily imply "unlearned". 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. regards ppl Dr. Peter Lennox S.P.A.R.G. Signal Processing Applications Research Group University of Derby Int. tel: 3155 >>> Ross Rochford <digiology@xxxxxxxx> 22/05/2008 00:03 >>> Hi, 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 spiders. 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. Ross

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