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Reflections on the Musical MindAn Evolutionary Perspective$
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Jay Schulkin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157443

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157443.001.0001

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Human Song

Human Song

Dopamine, Syntax, and Morphology

Chapter:
(p.62) Chapter 3 Human Song
Source:
Reflections on the Musical Mind
Author(s):

Jay Schulkin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157443.003.0004

This chapter examines the fundamental link between cognitive systems, movement, and the organization of the brain; what psychobiologist Karl Lashley emphasized in his essay on the “serial order of behavior” in which he also discusses music. Many different cognitive and motor systems fuel our ability to organize action, thought, and music. Musical expression is just one example of serial orders of behavior and diverse human creative expression. The chapter first considers the relationship between speech, song, and language in the evolutionary context before discussing how cognitive motor systems are embedded in language and gestures. It then looks at the neurotransmitter dopamine, a vital chemical for syntax, song, movement, discrepancy, and the prediction of reward. It also explains how, from an evolutionary point of view, the organization of thought is embedded in the organization of action. Finally, it provides an overview of procedural and declarative cognitive/memory systems.

Keywords:   cognitive systems, movement, brain, musical expression, music, speech, song, language, evolution, action

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