Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

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 Library of Excerpts

Dance and Music and the Evolution of Humans


"In an auditory or musical task, subjects made pitch recognition judgments when the tones to be compared were separated by a sequence of interpolated tones. The left-handed subjects performed significantly better than the right-handed and also had a significantly higher variance. Further analysis showed that the superior performance was attributable largely to the left-handed subjects with mixed hand preference." (Deutsch, D. (1978) Pitch memory: An advantage for the left handed. Science 199: pp. 5590

"It seems to us that language is not dualistically separated from its physical realization; rather, it is deeply rooted ontogenetically and phylogenetically in its bodily basis. Neither is grammar independent of meaning. This view is compatible with cognitive or functional theories of language such as those of Bybee (1985), Deane (1991), Givon (1989), Lakoff (1987), and Langacker (1987; 1991). This alternative approach is certainly not new. Jesperson (1924:17), for example, remarked that: 'The essence of language is human activity - activity on the part of one individual to make himself understood by another, and activity on the part of that other to understand what was in the mind of the first.' Deane (1993) outlines two broad approaches to language. The first stresses discontinuity between core linguistic abilities and other, broader domains: 'Grammar is isolated and examined as an axiomatic formal system' (Deane, 1993: 8). The second view stresses continuity between language and other mental capacities" 'Language is consistently placed in the context of its social and communicative functions. Linguistic structures, processes and categories are viewed as instantiations of the categories, processes and structures which comprise human intelligence.' Deane (1991) argues for this second view of language based on an elaboration of George Lakoff's (1987: 283) Spatialization of Form Hypothesis. According to the Spatialization of Form Hypothesis, grammar is ultimately spatial. Deane suggests that several predictions regarding the relation between grammar and cognition follow from this hypothesis (363-364):
(i) According to the hypothesis, the acquisition of grammatical competence occurs when linguistic information is routed to and processed by spatial centers in the brain.
(ii) Specifically, it is claimed that linguistic expressions are processed as if they were objects with internal structural configurations. That is, they are processed in terms of certain basic image schemas, namely part-whole and linkage schemas critical to the recognition of the configurations which define complex physical objects. (iii) But as Johnson (1987) argues at length, image schemas are basically embodied schemas, high level schemas which function as cognitive models of the body and its interaction with the environment.
In other words, the Spatialization of Form Hypothesis treats grammar as a form of image-schemaic thought in which words, phrases, and sentences are endowed with an abstract structure grounded in immediate bodily experience of physical objects. It therefore predicts as association between grammar and such cognitive abilities as object recognition, spatial structure, and body awareness, especially modeling bodily movement and position is space." (Armstrong DF, Stokoe WC, Wilcox SE (1995) Gesture and the Nature of Language. Cambridge Univ. Press: Cambridge p. 34-36)

"The Jesperson scenario begins with people devising individual courtship and battle songs, using in them as wide a variety of sounds as their vocal equipment and their inventiveness would allow them. To the members of a familiarity group, each of these personal songs came to be associated with its singer, as a kind of Wagnerian leitmotiv. With the group, one person could refer to another imitating his song. The song, thus, became a proper name -- and what, Jesperson asks, could be more concrete and specific than a proper name? Once this naming relationship got established within a group, it became possible for people to use a proper name to refer to some trait of the owner of that name, or to remind the group of some event in that individual's history. On this base, then, the processes of analogy and simplification did their work." (Filmore CJ (1976) Frame Semantics and the Nature of Language in . Origins and evolution of language and speech. Harnad, S., Steklis, H., & Lancaster, J. (eds.) New York Academy of Sciences: New York pp. 22)

"If Whole-body co-ordinated activities such as dancing can influence not only emotional but also hormonal states, this may provide a clue to why dancing takes up so much of the leisure time of so many hunting and gathering people, and why is is so often linked symblically with the moon. It might also throw light on the mechanisms through which women eventually succeded in preserving their ancient traditions of synchrony [menstrual] far from coastal shores in the course of the Upper Paleolithic revolution. It could be that they danced. Moreover, if dancing influenced the timing of ovulation and/or mentruation as well as of sexual intercourse itself, a further consequence may have followed. By scheduling each type of dance so as to coincide with a specific lunar phase, women could have helped ensure that their cycles were not only socially in step, but also in step withthe moon. Alternatively, it may have been that by using the moon as a clock, and by dancing in time with it, women suceeded in keeping in synchrony with one another." (Knight, C. (1991) Blood Relations; Yale Univ. Press, New Haven pp. 350-1)

“We traced spatial, verbal and musical abilities through a seven-year period of adolescence. When we started our study, 60 boys had reached a mean age of 11.72, 60 girls were 11.52 on average. Menarche and mutation served as markers for maturation. We found that early, mid, and late maturers differed on spatial orientation and on tactile-visual discrimination as measured with the Witelson task. No differences between the maturational groups emerged on verbal fluency and on Wing's Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence. At some stages, sex differences on spatial, verbal, and musical tests emerged, and disappeared at others. The sex differences in performance levels were not associated with a sex-specific relationship between maturation rate and performance levels. We found indications of the usefulness of sex hormone measurement in relation to cognitive and musical development in adolescence.” (Hassler M (1991) Maturation rate and spatial, verbal, and musical abilities: a seven-year-longitudinal study. Int J Neurosci 58 (3-4): 183)

"The model I advance specifies that the nature of the acoustic environment undergoes changes during fetal development, but that these changes are not primarily driven by development within the fetus. Rate of development would therefore influence the relationship between the acoustic environment and the developing nervous system. Consequently, I will explore some of the implications of this model for understanding the effects of different rates of development on reported differences between individuals with respect to hemispheric specialization. Inshort, I will suggest (1) that the fetus is sensitive to its acousitic environment, (2) that there are systematic changes in the nature of this environment, (3) that there are differences in the rate of the development of the two hemispheres, and (4) that the changes in acoustic environment and neurological substrate interact to produce the hemispheric specialization in function that appears to characterize even very early stages of human development. It is my thesis that the timing of changes in these systems in relation to each other is fundamental to the observed outcomes." (Turkewitz, Gerald (1988) A prenatal source for the development of hemispheric specialization in Brain Lateralization in Children (DL Molfese & SJ Segalowitz eds.) Guilford Press: New York p. 74)

"Or should be perhaps compare the whale's brain to the peacock's tail, a scintilating mental display organ for the purpose of attracting a mate and enhancing the pleasures of courtship: the whale who provides the most stimulating entertainment having the best choice of mates?" (Lovelock, J (1979) Gaia, A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford Univ. Press: Oxford. p. 141"

"He learns how to relive the Dream Time through the ceremonies. Eventually he shall be completely immersed in the sacred history of his tribe; that is to say, he shall know the origin and understand the meaning of everything from rocks, plants, and animals to customs, symbols, and rules. As he assimilates the revelation conserved i the myths and rituals, the world, life, and human existence become meaningful and sacred--for they have been created or perfected by Supernatural Beings." (Eliade, M. (1973) Australian Religions. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca p. 64)

"It is a more remarkable fact that an ape, one of the Gibbons, produces as exact octave of musical sounds, ascending and descending the scale by half-tones; so that this monkey "alone on brute mammals may be said to sing."" [footnote says that quote is from Prof. Owen] (Darwin C.(1965 (1872)) The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. John Murray: Londonp. 87)

"Music often produces another peculiar effect. We know that every strong sensation, emotion, or excitement--extreme pain, rage, terror, joy, or the passion of love--all have a special tendency to cause the muscles to tremble; and the thrill of slight shiver which runs down the backbone and limbs of many persons when they are powerfully affected by music, seems to bear the same relation tothe above trembling of the body, as a slight suffusion of tears from the power of music does to weeping from any strong and real emotion." (Darwin C.(1965 (1872)) The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. John Murray: Londonp. 217)

"Thousands of years before artists painted animals and costumed shamans on the cave walls of Europe, people were fastening bead onto clothing and piercing belts and headbands with carnivore teeth. Such evidence indicates that the original canvas of the visual arts was the human body itself." (Wilson, E.O. (1998) Consilience. Knoff, New York p. 232)

“Musical composers, instrumentalists, and painters were compared with nonmusicians from a student and from an nonstudent population on testosterone levels in saliva. This steroid served as a marker for physiological androgyny. The ANOVA showed a significant group by sex interaction. Male composers attained significantly lower mean testosterone values than male instrumentalists and male nonmusicians; female composers had significantly higher mean testosterone values than female instrumentalists and female nonmusicians. Painters of both sexes did not differ significantly from controls. Spatial ability was assessed in the five groups. Significant differences on spatial test performance were not reflected in differences on salivary testosterone. Our results showed that musical composers of both sexes were physiologically highly androgynous. Creative musical behavior was associated with testosterone levels that minimized sex differences.” (Hassler M (1991)Testosterone and artistic talents. Int J Neurosci 56 (1-4): 25)

"As early as the first day of life, the numan neonate moves in precise and sustained segments of movement that are synchronous with the articulated structure of adult speech. These observations suggest a view of development of the infant as a participant at the outset in multiple forms of interactional organization, rather than as an isolate. ... In contrast, microanalysis of pathological behavior -- for instance, that of subjects with aphaic, autistic, and schizophrenic conditions -- reveals marked self-asychronies. Delayed auditory feedback also markedly disturbs this self-sychrony. ... For example, as the adult emits the KK of "come," which lasts for 0.07 second, the infant's head moves right very slightly (Rvs), the left elbow extends slightly (Es), the right shoulder retates outward slightly (ROs) the right hip rotates outward fast (ROf), the left hip extends slightly (Es), and the big toe of the left foot aducts (AD). These body parts sustain these directions and speeds of movement together for this 0.07-second interval. This forms a "unit" composed of the sustained relation of these movements of the body. ... This 2-day-old infant displayed segments of movement synchronous with the adult's speech during the entire 89-word sequence. In other words, this is a sustained and precise occurrence. Another 2-day-old infant sustained similarly synchronous movement throughout a series of 125 words of tape-recorded female speech. ... This study reveals a complex interaction system in which the organization of the neonate's motor behavior in entrained by and synchronized with the organized speech behavior of adults in his environment. If the infant, from the beginning, moves in precise, shared rhythm with the organization of the speech structure of his culture, then he participates developmentally through complex, sociobiological entrainment processes in millions of repetitions of linguistic forms long before he later uses them in speaking and communicating. By the time he begins to speak, he may have already laid down within himself the form and structure of the language system of his culture. This would encompass as multiplicity of interlocking aspects: rhythmic and syntactic "hierarchies," suprasegmental features, and paralinguistic nuances, not to mention body motion styles and rhythms. This may provide an empirical basis for a new approach to language acquisition." (Condon, W.S. & Sander, L.W. (1974) Neonate movement is synchronized with adult speech: interactional participation and language acquisition. Science 183: pp. 99-101)

"It seems possible that an optimal testosterone range exists for the expression of creative musical behavior and that exceeding this optimal range in the course of puberty may contribute to a stop of musical production in boys. Such optimal testosterone levels may be lower than male average in adult men and higher than female average in adult women (Hassler, 1991; Hassler & Nieschlag, 1989). ... Handedness proved to be an important variable with respect to musical talent in boys. Male left-handers attained significantly higher mean test scores than male right-handers on Wing's Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence (Hassler & Birbaumer, 1988) at each stage of the study." (Hassler, M & Nieschlag, E. (1991) Salivary testosterone and creative musical behavior in adolescent males and females. Developmental Neuropsychology 7: 504)

"By comparing adolescent girls' testosterone results derived from saliva sampled during the follicular phase (Day 1 to 15) with testosterone results obtained from saliva sampled during the luteal phase (from Day 16 to the onset on menstuation) of the menstrual cycle, we found no significant differences between the phases at Stage 4 when girls' mean age was 14.43. At Stage 5, when girls were 15.40 years old on average, significant differences emerged in testosterone means of the day.... Testosterone means were higher in the luteal than in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle." (Hassler & Birbaumer, 1988) at each stage of the study." (Hassler, M & Nieschlag, E. (1991) Salivary testosterone and creative musical behavior in adolescent males and females. Developmental Neuropsychology 7: 516)

"Most of those boys and girls who demonstrated creative musical behavior at the beginning of our study lost the ability to compose and improvise in the course of adolescence." (Hassler & Birbaumer, 1988) at each stage of the study." (Hassler, M & Nieschlag, E. (1991) Salivary testosterone and creative musical behavior in adolescent males and females. Developmental Neuropsychology 7: 518)

“The notion that man’s first language was primarily gestural, carried on with hand and arm signals rather than vocal sounds, has been supported by a distinguished line of scholars: Condillar (1746), Tylor (1868, 1871), Morgan (1877:35n), Wallace (1881, 1895), Romanes (1988), Wundt (1912), Paget (1944, 1963), and Johannesson (1949, 1950). The gestural theory seems to be the most attractive of the many glottogonic hypotheses advanced so far, and receives support from recent studies of chimpanzees and other primates, such as Gardner and Gardner (1969, 1971), Premack (1970a,b, 1971), and Menzel (1971), as well as from other sources. The fact that this evidence was unavailable to earlier proponents of the gestural theory explains some of the weaknesses in its former formulations.” (Hewes GW (1973) Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 5)

“This primary or social interaction seems to derive directly from an older system and, like all animal systems of communication, is restricted to “betweem you and me, here and now.” The secondary communication interaction, speech, is subjects to no such limitations in space and time. ... Though sign languages are onomatopoetic, the signs represent quite arbitrary features of any referent; each Australian sign language, for example, uses quite different signs for familiar animals. Aborigines find signing faster than speaking and more effective at distances, and some groups consider it more elegant than speech. A deaf Aboriginal grows up with access to every aspect of his culture, and joins freely in any conversation. The human facility for mime and its appreciation and our ready grasp of the symbolism in dance, myth, dreams, and art require some explanation. A similar talent is seen in the emergence of natural sign language in every institution for the care of deaf children. These talents would be explicable if speech had evolved through long periods of mime and signing. Natural sign languages are found among the Plains Indians, among all Australian Aborigines, in India, and in many regions around the Mediterranean. They seem to have been studied seriously by only one man, La Mont West, whose conclusions have never been published. He is known to have believed that all of the sign languages had the same syntactic form. If this is so, then it becomes a reasonable evolutionary hypothesis that the deep structure of modern languages is closely related to that of natural sign languages. Perhaps this hypothesis could provide a test of speculations on the evolution of human language.” (McBride, G (1973) Comments on ... Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 15)

“Recent hunting peoples present dances consisting of remarkably accurate imitations of the movements of animals, and animal mimicry is also employed in narration of hunting expliots. “Animal dances” are a staple of ethnographic dance literature, and some Upper Paleolithic paintings seem to represent such mimicry. If such animal mimicry, not necessily in the form of standardized dances, goes farther back in the past, it would have provided a kind of feedback from themmotor habits of other species which would have formed a gestural or mimed domain of animal “names,” a kind of motor onomatopoeia. If, as some early prehistoric sites indicate, osteodontokeratic remnants from hunting or scavenging were available to the early hominids, these could have served as props or costume elements for animal reenactments, in which vocal imitation would have added verisimiltude, provided the neural mechanisms for its production were sufficiently evolved.” (Hewes GW (1973) Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 8)


“The Gardners and Fouts noted that Washoe learned signs which involved touching parts of her own body faster than signs traced in the air, possibly because of the tactile reinforcement from the skin touched. ... The peculiarly human association of right-handedness and left-hemisphere dominance for both language skills and precise manual manipulations could well be the outcome of a long selective pressure for the clear separation of the precision grip from the power grip, combined with manual-gesture language exhibiting a similar (and related) asymmetry. ... The manual-gesture language model for glottogenesis has the virtue of following the line of least biological resistence, in that it demands no changes -- at least for a very long period -- in neural of buccolaryngeal anatomy or function, other than in the direction of greater precision of control. Other glottogonic theories are vulnerable on this point, since the movement from a language-less hominid to a speaking one is much more difficult to understand than the movement from a gesture language, with cerebral lateralization already in being, to a vocal transformation. Jakobson (1964, 1967) has observed that noises, apart from speech sounds, still have a low communicative value, a fact first clearly realized in the era of radio drama with sound effects. .... Fortunately, we may turn to the mouth-gesture hypothesis, first elaborated by Paget (1963 and many previous publications) and Johannesson (1950, also with numerous earlier publications) and first suggested by Wallace (1881, 1895), for a way in which vocal sounds could have come to be systematically linked with elements of a manual-gesture language. These authors believed that lips, mouth, and tongue roughly “imitate” hand and sometimes other body-part movements, particularly when the latter are engaged in communicative or manipulative activity. This notion is unlike the “bow-wow” or onomatopoeic theory in that the sounds produced by mouth gesture and accompanying vocalization do not bear any acoustic resemblance to the manual signs or their external referents (if acoustic similarity were even possible). With the interjectional of “yo-he-ho” theory it shares only the idea that vocalization may accompany strong emotion or physical exertion. Because of their articulate character, sounds produced in mouth gesture would not closely resemble normal primate calls. Some could be clicks, which are audible without outflow of air from the lungs, and which some linguists claim are archaic (Stopa 1968).” (Hewes GW (1973) Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 9-10)

“Aside from some work on standardized sign languages, such as those of the Plains Indians of North America or the Aborigines of Australia, not a single reference to studies of gestural communication across language boundaries was encountered by me in the compilation of over 5,000 titles dealing with language origins, gesture language, and related topics (cf. Hewes 1971a). There has been some study of gesture within particular ethnic or cultural groups.” ... It may be that the ability is not only an older innate character of man, but one which is shared, in rudimentary form at least, with the Pongidae. Manual communication may thus come closer to representing the deep cognitive structure on which not only language but all of our intellectual and technological achievements rest. ... The earlier scripts are mostly sets of little pictures of tools, animals, plants, etc., but it is worth noting that in at least two of them, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese writing in its most ancient form, there are numerous representations of hand and arm gestures, often holding or wielding tools or weapons (cf. Wieger 1964 for Chinese examples).” (Hewes GW (1973) Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 11)

“Although it is often stated that man is the only primate that can talk, it is rarely noted that he is also the only one that can sing. Since singing is a simpler system than speech, with only pitch as a distinguishing feature, I suggest that he could sing long before he could talk and that singing was in fact a prerequisite to speech and hence language. Marler (1970a) has used the terms call and song to distinguish innate and learned signals in birds, and while the alarm or danger signal is usually a call, the territorial or mating signal is most frequently a song and is also more often uttered with non environmental stimulus. The learned nature of the territorial/mating song had resulted in more rapid evolution and in the evolution of bird dialects, which can be isolating mechanisms (Nottebohm 1970). Birds can also recognize individuals by vocal signals, and Thorpe (1968) has stated that some nesting birds can recognize their own family in a group of 2,000; this seems to imply an open semantic system. Haldane (1955) suggested that naming of persons and objects was the function of human vocalization that led to the development of language and symboling. Thus, it would seem that songs as group or personal names may have been the function of human vocalization that resulted in the opening of the call system. ... Much of primate vocalization occurs during territorial displays or encounters, and Rowell and Hinde (1962) do suggest that there may be rhesus dialects that are learned.” (Livingstone, FB (1973) Did the australopithecines sing? Current Anthropology 14: 25)

“Adaptation to this learned, open signal system of territorial songs preadapted the hominids to both speech and symboling. ... However, terrestrial primates that inhabit the savanna do seem to communicate more by gesture than their jungle counterparts (Altmann 1967), so early man probably had many gestures.” (Livingstone, FB (1973) Did the australopithecines sing? Current Anthropology 14: 26)

“My original “mechanistic approach” to brain size and language should be somewhat modified. I had earlier assumed that symbolic thoughts and their vocal expression could be equated. Now it appears that the two phenomena are separable to some degree, in that phonetic speech may be a late development, whereas in ealier times symbols were communicated, but less efficiently.” (Krantz, G. S. (1973) Comments (on The evolution of brain size, speech, and psychosexual development by A.E. Mourant) Current Anthropology 14 (1-2): 31)

“Young women appear to be attractive to young men owing to the combination of paedomorphic and secondary sexual signal characteristics which they present to them initially at a distance. Hairlessness, voice tone, complexion and girlish behavior all have a childlike character that in ethnological terms appear to lower the probability of a male aggressive response of to appease if one is present. These same characteristics are likely to reduce male fear and anxiety on closer approach and to permit sexual expression. The male begins to display in various “show-off” performances including physical prowess (such as, dancing), exhibitions of virtuosity in the social graces, in demonstrations of charm and sensitive virility. These displays attract the female’s attention and provide the basis upon which she may choose to respond to or reject the male’s approach: or more usually, simply fail to observe them. ... From the purely ethological viewpoint this sequence has much in common wiht courtship in birds and often mammals....” (Sexual selection in the primates (1972) John H. Crook in Sexual selection and the descent of man 1871-1971 Campbell, Bernard (ed.) pp. 274)

"Musical talent is related to above-average spatial ability in children before and during puberty..." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 55)

"Women with congenital adrenal hyperplasmia (CAH) have been exposed to above average androgen levels in utero. These women have been reported to display higher spatial ability than matched controls as adults (Resnick et al., 1986; but see also Ehrhardt & Meyer-Bahlburg, 1981; Reinisch, 1983). They ordinarily do not have elevated T levels as adults, but T levels of CAH women were not presented in the above-cited studies. Women with Turner's syndrome, whose gonads develop improperly and produce only minute amounts of sex homones (Nyborg, 1984), are hypoandrogenized both prenatally and in adulthood. They were found to perform poorly on spatial taks in adulthood (Nyborg & Nielson, 1981; Nyborg, 1984). Fetally nonandrogenized genetic males with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) produce a normal amount of T, but their tissue is insensitive to the steroid, both pre- and post-natally. AIS patients also were found to perform poorly on spatial tasks (Nyborg, 1984). From their study with androgen-deficient men, Hier and Crowley (1982) concluded that androgens exert a permanent organizing influence on the brain before puberty or at puberty in boys. Those with hypoandrogenization in their early development did not improve on spatial tasks when treated with T as adults. Nyborg (1984) has suggested that, in addition to prenatal organizing T effects, current levels of estradiol (E2), or aromatized T, or the possibility of T antagonizing estradiol at the plasma level, influence spatial faculties. According to his General Trait Covariance Model, there is a curvilinear relationship between circulating E2 and spatial performance. This model predicts that spatial performance is highest when E2 levels are in an optimum range, below and above which spatial performance decreases. This model is in line with experimental (Broverman et al., 1968) and descriptive (Petersen, 1976) studies showing that physically androgynous persons in both sexes tend to attain higher test scores on spatial measures than do either masculine men or feminine women." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 56)

"There is evidence that musicians are androgynous persons (Kemp, 1982; 1985; Hassler et al., 1985; Hassler & Nieschlag, 1989). Due to the relationship between spatial and musical capacities, sex hormones, particularly T as the pre-hormone for its biologically active metabolites, may contribute to the development of both musical talent and spacial ability." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 56)

"Sex differences in T levels were minimal among musical composers. T levels that differ from average values were not found in instrumentalists or in painters (Hassler, 1991a), though painters' T levels were between those of composers on the one hand and those of instrumentalists and nonmusicians on the other (Hassler, 1991a). Nonmusicians in that study had significantly higher T levels than composers." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 64)

"Our data obtained from adults allow for the hypothesis that an optimal T range may exist for the expression of creative musical behavior. This range may be at the bottom of the normal male T range and at the top of the normal female T range. T may be one component of a complex biological system contributing to musical creativity. ... The limitation given by the measurement of only one hormone must be overcome in future research in order to get more information about the hormone/behavior relationship in adolescence. For instance, E2 surges in girls occurring at age 13 should be taken into account. In women, creative musical capacities may emerge, or emerge again, in adulthood, when female hormone levels have reached the adult state. Though we have no indication of a reemergence of musical creativity in our adolescent girls, who have not yet reached the adulthood, there are clues from our study with adults (Hassler et al., 1990). Half our adult female composers began composing after puberty. General musical ability as measured with the Wing test showed some fluctuation during the course of adolescence. In 1987, when children had reached a mean age of 15.5 yr, the only significant correlation between T and Wing test scores was in girls and was positive. No other clue was found to indicate that general musical ability was related to T levels." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 66)

"T exerts its influence together with other hormones and with neurotransmitters (Hutchinson & Steimer, 1984; Whalen, 1984), and it may act on the brain as T, or by its metabolites estradiol and dihydrotestosterone." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 66)

"The critical periods, as Dorner (1988) has argued, are not completely identical but are overlapping. The assumption that androgens influence brain differentiation during the midtrimester of gestation (Dorner, 1985; 1988) has been questioned by Money (1988, p. 23), who cited the findings of Abramovich et al. (1987) who undertook an extensive neurochemical search of tissues from fetal brains, age 14-20 wk of gestation, for evidence of receptors that would take up estrogenic, androgenic, or progentinic sex hormones. The evidence was nil. Money (1988, p. 23) concluded that the stage in development what hormones influence the differentiation of the human brain as dimorphically male or female remains to be discoverd. It may be in the third trimester of pregnancy, or it may extend through the first 3 postnatal months of age. (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 66-67)

"Studies indicated that musicians differ from nonmusicians in functional hemispheric lateralization (Gordon, 1983; Hassler & Birbaumer, 1988; Witelson, 1980) in that musicians are less left-lateralized than nonmusicians for language functions." (Hassler & Birbaumer, 1988) at each stage of the study." (Hassler, M & Nieschlag, E. (1991) Salivary testosterone and creative musical behavior in adolescent males and females. Developmental Neuropsychology 7: 518)

"A few decade ago Otto Jespersen, the Danish philologist, even speculated that early human courting sounds stimulated the evolution of language. "Language," he said, "was born in the courting days of mankind; the first utterances of speech I fancy to myself like something between the nightly love-lyrics of puss upon the tiles and the melodious love-songs of the nightingale."25 This sounds farfetched. There were probably several reasons why early men and women needed advanced communication. But love songs, like national anthems, can certainly "stir the blood." (Fisher, H. (1992) Anatomy of Love: The Mysteries of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992. pp. 36)

"And the beat goes on. When friends are hooked up to electro-encehalographs, which measure brain activity, the resulting tracings show that even brain waves get "in sync" when two people have a harmonious conversation. In fact, if you sit at the dinner table and watch carefully, you can conduct the conversation with your hand as family members talk and eat. Stressed syllables usually keep the beat. But even silences are rhythmic; as one person pats her mouth, another reaches for the salt--right on cue. Rests and syncopations, voices lowered, elbows raised, these mark the pulse of living as well as of love. Our need to keep each other's time reflects a rhythmic mimicry common to many other animals. On a number of occasions primatologist Wolfgang Kohler entered the chimp enclosure in a primate research center to find a group of males and females trotting in "a rough aproximate rhythm" around and around a pole. Kohler said the animals wagged their heads as they swung along, each leading with the same foot. Chimps sometimes sway from side to side as they stare into one another's eyes just prior to copulation too. In fact, nothing is more basic to courtship in animals than rhythmic movement. Cats circle. Red deer prance. Howler monkeys court with rhythmic tongue movements. Stickleback fish to a zigzag jig. From bears to beetles, courting couples perform rhythmic rituals to express their amorous intentions. To dance is natural. So I think it reasonable to sugget that body synchrony is a universal stage of the human courting process: as we become attracted to each other, we begin to keep a common beat." (Fisher, H. (1992) Anatomy of Love: The Mysteries of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992. pp. 31)

[abstract] "In the current investigation an approach has been made to explore possible relations between musical talent, left-handedness, anomalous dominance for verbal materials, and immune vulnerability. Fifty-one young adult musicians and non-musicians were tested with Wing's Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence, with a handedness questionnaire, a dichotic listening task, and with a questionnaire assessing asthma/allergies, migraine and myopia. In addition, IgE, Ig total, beta-endorphin, testosterone, and estradiol were measured in blood serum. Musical talent was related to left-handedness and to anomalous dominance; immune vulnerability was found in female musicians, and in subjects with reversed dominance for language functions as well as in male left-handers, independently of musical talent." (Hassler M, Gupta D (1993) Functional brain organization, handedness, and immune vulnerability in musicians and non-musicians. Neuropsychologia 31(7):655-60)

"Creative musical behavior, musical intelligence, and spatial ability were investigated in relation to salivary testosterone (T). In a cross-sectional study with 117 adults and in an 8-yr longitudinal study with 120 adolescents, composers, instrumentalists, and nonmusicians of both sexes were compared by analyses of variance. Results indicate that an optimal T range may exist for the expression of creative musical behavior. This range may be at the bottom of normal male T range and at the top of normal female T range. In addition, musicians were found to attain significantly higher spatial test scores than nonmusicians, both, in an 8-yr-period of adolescent development and in adulthood." (Hassler, M. (1992) Creative musical behavior and sex hormones: musical talent and spatial ability in the two sexes. Psychoneuroendocrinology 17 (1): pp. 55)

"Contrary to some sociobiologists' assumptions, human traditional dancing is rarely reducible to courtship behavior - at least, not in the sense that this term conventionally implies. If there is 'courtship' taking place, it is between whole groups, not private individuals. Almost always, the dancing is collective and ritualised. As noted in Chapter 9, it is in fact quite rare for marital partners to dance together as couples, or to publicise their physical bond. Rather, women dance with women and men with men. Even when the two sexes are dancing simultaneously and on the same dance-ground, and even when the dancing culminates in wild sexual abandon, the overall design of the dance is one of gender groups relating to one another as groups, not individuals. This is true of virtually all African dancing, all Australian Aboriginal dancing - and indeed, of folkoristic or traditional dancing just about everywhere. Modern western dancing which celebrates coupledom is in this context an aberration." (Knight, C. (1991) Blood Relations; Yale Univ. Press, New Haven p. 349)

[An Australian myth describing the origin of language, dance and connections to the rainbow serpent.] (Knight, C. (1991) Blood Relations; Yale Univ. Press, New Haven pp. 462-3)

In Aboriginal Australia, then, the 'Snake' is nothing other than women's culture-creating, mensturation-synchronising dance. 'A dance ground is a snake's body', writes Warner (1957:274) as if in confirmation, 'and it is usually thought of as having the women and children inside it'. But although mythology knows that 'the Snake' and women's 'dance' are one and the same, male initiation ritualism, as we have seen, inverts all this, attempting to exclude women from their own dance, which must now be monopolised by men. Aboriginal men who dance themselves into a 'Snake' know that they first learned to do this when they 'stole' women's secrets long, long ago in the mythological past - and they know it with quiet confidence because such things do not change, and they ae still doing it today." (Knight, C. (1991) Blood Relations; Yale Univ. Press, New Haven p. 477)

"I am indebted to Dr. Anthony Forge for a quotation from Isadora Duncan: "If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it."" Bateson, Gregory (1972) Steps To An Ecology of Mind. Ballantine Books: New York p. 137)

"Coiling and uncoiling spiral dances must certainly have been performed in deep prehistory, definitely in the days when this beautiful spiral-decorated pottery was produced. A Greek Crane Dance is known which, according to Plutarch, Theseus introduced into Delos; it was performed around a horned alter and represented the circles that coiled and uncoiled in the labyrinth (Graves 1972: 233)." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 282)

Ancient Ring dance description and portrayal on 5th century B.C. vase. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 312)

"Furthermore, drummers apparently know by intuition the most potent brain-stimulating rhythms. According to Neher, the predominant drumming rhythm used in a number of African dances as well as in Haitian voodoo dances is a fast 7 to 9 beats per second---and that happens to be about the same rhythm produced naturally by "brain waves" in the auditory cortex itself, groups of neurons charging and discharging in electrical unison. It seems that properly synchronized drumbeats drive the brain, force it into heightened activity. They work in phase with brain waves, amplifying them the way timed pushes impart more and more momentum to a swing, creating hallucinations and intense feelings of dissociation." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York p. 212)

Decription of the spiritual ferver created by the drum dance. Then... "The prevalence of twilight-state thinking, our very susceptibility to the condidition, argues for its evolutionary importance. In extreme cases it results in pathology, derangements and delusions, persisting hallucinations and fanaticisms. But it is also the driving force behind efforts to see things whole, to achieve a variety of syntheses from unified field theories in shysics to blueprints for utopias in which people will live together in peace. These must have been an enormous selective premium on the twilight state during prehistoric times. If the pressures of the Upper Paleolithic demanded fervid belief and the following of leaders for survival's sake, then individuals endowed with such qualtities, with a capacity to fall readily into trances, would out-produce more resistant individuals." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York p. 213)

"Anatomically modern humans appeared in Europe with "skill in music, as excavated bone whistles and flutes from the early Upper Paleolithic indicate, hinting at ceremony, ritual, and perhaps, dance." (Marshack, A. (1972) The Roots of Civilzation; McGraw Hill: New York p. 34)

"In Aboriginal Australia, then, the 'Snake' is nothing other than women's culture-creating, mensturation-synchronising dance. 'A dance ground is a snake's body', writes Warner (1957:274) as if in confirmation, 'and it is usually thought of as having the women and children inside it'. But although mythology knows that 'the Snake' and women's 'dance' are one and the same, male initiation ritualism, as we have seen, inverts all this, attempting to exclude women from their own dance, which must now be monopolised by men. Aboriginal men who dance themselves into a 'Snake' know that they first learned to do this when they 'stole' women's secrets long, long ago in the mythological past - and they know it with quiet confidence because such things do not change, and they ae still doing it today." (Knight, C. (1991) Blood Relations. Yale Univ. Press: New Haven p. 477)

"The arts represent, perhaps, the independant development of vestigial forms of communication, originating with phylogenetically earlier, preverbal affective intraspecies exchange." (Benson and Zaidel (Schweiger) 1985: 360 , The Dual Brain)

"It should be added here that throughout history art has been serving well-defined affective functions in conjunction with social activities, such as religious ceremonies, rituals, the reinforcement of social hierarchy (through music and decorations), the curing of a variety of ailments [referring to source on music therapy], and so forth. Only in the last two centuries have we seen the sprouting of institutions dedicated for the exclusive enjoyment of the arts (concert halls and museums)." Benson and Zaidel (Schweiger) 1985: 361 , The Dual Brain)

"The less strongly lateralized pattern of motor skill would help to account in part for the elevated rate of nonrighthandedness among athletes, in contrast to the common view tht this in entirely the result of an advantage in competing against righthanded opponents." (Geschwind & Galaburda 1987: 79, Cerebral Lateralization)

"Since Fechner's first investigations on preference of colors and shapes [1876], many relevant analyses have been carried out. We now know that the following characteristics are especially preferred by young human children [cf. Ziehen, 1923, 1925]. These characteristics can also contribute to the aesthetic feelings of monkeys and apes. (1) Saturated colors are preferred to unsaturated ones; (2) primary colors are preferred to mixed colors; (3) brilliant colors on the surfaces of objects are preferred to non-brilliant ones; (4) rhythmical repetition of equal components pleases because it facilitates comprehension [Ziehen, 1923, 1925] and produces 'pleasure of recurrency'; (5) in the same fashion, bilateral and radial symmetry also produce aethetic pleasure; (6) steady curves, like circles, spirals, wave-lines, and so on are preferred to irregular curves; (7) conspicuous lines or shapes are preferred to indistinct ones; (8) a certain balance of excitation between the left and right half of a picture is more pleasant than an unbalanced arrangement; (9) when two objects of different colors have to be combined, the same colors or conspicuously different colors are preferred to nearly equal colors (principle of disappointed expectation, Of course, adult humans often react in a different manner because they are accustomed to certain colors and shapes." (Menzel ed. (Rensch) 1973: 111, Precultural Primate Behavior)

"The results of all these investigations show that we may suppose positive feelings in certain monkeys and apes in those instances when they indicate preference for rhythmical and symmetrical patterns to more irregular ones and for the combination of the same or clearly different colors to very similar ones." (Menzel ed. (Rensch) 1973: 114, Precultural Primate Behavior)

"Moreover, the sole instance of group play observed during our study occurred before and at the onset of one of the heaviest storms. First one foal, then another began galloping, turning while galloping, rearing and body-twisting until the entire year-class of ten male and female foals, including some who seldom played otherwise, was actively exercising. They did not appear to be chasing or fleeing one another. Each foal seemed to gallop independently in long arcs or in giant circles. The foals crossed each other's paths frequently at high speeds. Remarkably, they never collided." (Fagen, Robert (1981) Animal Play Behavior: New York: Viking. pp. 305-6) [note relation between this description and Goodall chimp rain dance]

"Humans seem particularly gesticulative and expressive during courtship, and hand gestures play an important role in the dances of many cultures. (particularly in India, South-East Asia, and the Pacific Islands), so again sexual selection could have been important in the evolution of manual gesticulation. The human ability to use mouth and hands in playing musical instruments may represent a modification of motor skills originally used in courtship and foreplay." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 181)

"Driver and Humphries (1988, pp. 43-4) also report tht human hunters share this strategy: "Australian aborigines capture kangaroos in the open by performing a display which seems to be similar in many ways to these crazy-dances. One individual does a crazy-dance in full view of the kangaroo, the prey apparently being so bemused by the unusual movements that it can be captured by other, non-displaying individuals." To the extent that hunting became important in human evolution, we may have evolved special abilities for generating crazy-dances to confuse and entrance prey animals. Such abilities may have evolved from, or facilitated the evolution of, protean dance behaviors in courtship." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 332)

"There are some examples of neophilic preferences driving increased behavioral novelty in animal courtship displays. Bird song evolved through female choice and shows complexity and diversity. There is substantial evidence that female birds of some species prefer males birds that demonstrate larger song repertoires (e.g. Eens et al., 1991; Hiebert et al., 1989; Horn et al., 1993). Bird songs involve themes and variations (Podos et al., 1992; Schusterman et al., 1986), with novelties introduced from time to time. The novelties attract female attention and spread through populations of males in complex patterns of appropriation, diffusion, and modification, much like human jokes, melodies, or languages. Songbirds also have brains about twice as large as brains from comparable non-singing species (see Bateson, 1988), probably both so males can generate birdsong and so famales can process it. Novelty in behavioral courtship displays is not restricted to birds. The songs of large-brained humback whales are enormously long, complex, and change during and across breeding seasons, and are also used in courtship (see e.g. Payne, 1983). Courtship among dolphins also includes complex behaviors and sounds (see Pryor & Norris, 1991). And as Darwin (1971) noted, most animals with elaborated secondary sexual traits display them using special movements and dances during courtship. The complexity of many courtship dances seems to have been an object of sexual selection in its own right for many species (e.g. see Bastock, 1967; Burton, 1953, 1976; Eberhard, 1985; Robinson & Robinson, 1980). Thus, an intrinsic perceptual bias in favor of complexity and novelty may have driven the evolution of behavioral courtship displays in some birds and mammals. Of course, this sort of sexual selection for complex behavioral courtship displays is of particular interest in understanding human encephalization. As we will see in the next chapter, the most distinctive human behavioral capacities, including those for language, music, art, dance, and sexual play, can be viewed as mechanisms for generating protean courtship displays that play upon psychological predispositions in favor of novelty, variety, and diversity." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 379-80)

"According to Professors W.S. Condon and W. Ogston of Boston University, as early as twenty minutes after birth the human neonate moves in precise and sustained synchronous organizations of change of movement with the articulated structure of its mother's speech. " (Montagu, Ashley (1989) Growing Young N.Y.: McGraw Hill pp. 98)

"The experience of dancing constitutes something more than a body in motion. There is a release and a replenishment of psychic energy that leaves one with an oceanic feeling of freedom from which all constraint has fallen away, in which the free play of the emotions in disciplined response to the music has its way. One is infused with a lyrical joy. Little wonder that such feelings have been perceived as reminiscent of the nurturance and protection of the prenatal and infancy stages. However that may be, and whether one dances by oneself or with others, it is the positive reinforcements that one receives from this poetry of motion, this feeling of being in tune with the universe, that is so uplifting and constructively beneficial. It would be difficult to think of any activity of greater theraputic value." (Montagu, Ashley (1989) Growing Young N.Y.: McGraw Hill pp. 192)

"A significant problem with a neotenic theory of human origins (or later anagenetic transformations within hominid lineages), is that many of our characteristic features are simply not paedomorphic, as Schultz (1969) and others have shown. Among these are almost the entire suite of features associated with bipedal adaptations, perhaps the defining attribute of the hominid clade. .... There is considerable evidence that the adult human skullbase and upper respiratory tract exhibit a number of specializations related to the development of our speech-producing apparatus (e.g. Laitman et al., 1978: Laitman and Crelin, 1980; Laitman and Heimbuch, 1982) [see Lieberman (1984) for discussion]. In this area, human infants resemble adult apes, rather than the converse as predicted by neoteny." Shea, Brian T. (1988) Heterochrony in Primates in: Heterochrony in Evolution: A Multidisciplinary Approach (M.L. McKinney, ed.) pp. 237-266, Plenum Press, New York. p. 259)


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