In the search for how and why music evolved in humans, scientists are trying to see if animals can keep a beat.
February 16, 2014
The question has turned into a burgeoning scientific field—one that looks at everything from boy-band-loving cockatoos to head-bobbing sea lions—with implications for how and why music evolved in people.
Hugo Merchant, the neurobiologist from Mexico is here. He has been studying tapping to a beat in monkeys. He's actually measuring from parts of their brains while they do this. So he is the person to ask about what brain regions [are involved]—in monkeys, anyway. But they don't seem to quite do it the way we do it.

Psychology for Clinical Settings
Eduardo A. Garza-Villarreal, Andrew D Wilson, Lene Vase, Elvira Brattico, Fernando A Barrios, Troels Staehelin Jensen, Juan Ignacio Romero-Romo, Peter Vuust., Front. Psychol., 11 February 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00090
This paper has been featured in the Frontiers top 10 most viewed psychology research articles from Frontiers in Psychology this February.

Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia
The pain in Fibromyalgia (FM) is difficult to treat and functional mobility seems to be an important comorbidity in these patients that could evolve into a disability. In this study we wanted to investigate the analgesic effects of music in FM pain. Twenty-two FM patients were passively exposed to (1) self-chosen, relaxing, pleasant music, and to (2) a control auditory condition (pink noise). They rated pain and performed the “timed-up & go task (TUG)” to measure functional mobility after each auditory condition. Listening to relaxing, pleasant, self-chosen music reduced pain and increased functional mobility significantly in our FM patients. The music-induced analgesia was significantly correlated with the TUG scores; thereby suggesting that the reduction in pain unpleasantness increased functional mobility. Notably, this mobility improvement was obtained with music played prior to the motor task (not during), therefore the effect cannot be explained merely by motor entrainment to a fast rhythm. Cognitive and emotional mechanisms seem to be central to music-induced analgesia. Our findings encourage the use of music as a treatment adjuvant to reduce chronic pain in FM and increase functional mobility thereby reducing the risk of disability. - See more at: Original Research ARTICLE.

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