Dopamine, Syntax, and Morphology
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.
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