Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Starting with joy and fun. Frostie the dancing cockatoo.

First post. Starting this blog with a smile. Frostie, the dancing cockatoo grooves to Shake A Tail Feather. Found on MaryDellamorte's MetaFilter post.

How interesting that parrots can hear music in the way humans do, with an impulse to dance to the rhythm. This brings me much joy and amazement.

The Michael Jackson of birds

A group bird dance that is my very favorite. The starlings on Otmoor in their twilight ballet

Synchronization to an auditory beat is referred to as entrainment.

huh. That's so interesting. I wonder why it's called entrainment? It seems such an unlikely term. The term on Wikipedia.

From Adena Schachner's page:
When speaking to infants, adults in all cultures modify their speech to have a higher pitch, greater pitch variability, slower speed, and longer pauses. Our research has suggested that young infants' social preferences can be modified by the presence or absence of this infant-directed speech.

That works in communicating with dogs and cats too.

She says:

We suggest that infants encode the appropriateness of vocal behavior and use that information to guide subsequent preference for individual social partners, an ability that may serve as an important foundation for social reasoning.

"social reasoning" Good term.

The Neural Basis of Human Dance

This makes sense to me how music changes mood, inspires exercise. It also seems that music and language are intertwined in the brain.

On another blog, Music Matters: a blog on music cognition, it seems Snowball the dancing cockatoo really made global history in the world of neuroscience, around the planet. Just shows me how what may seem like a funny video posted to YouTube could be perceived in so many different ways and even be of tremendous scientific importance.

Years ago I saw a documentary about the cultural anthropology of dance, in which the evolution of dance was described as moving from 2 dimensionally up and down, forward and back, side to side, then to gyrating 3 dimensionally. I seem to remember that farmer societies danced side to side or in circles.

Interesting for me to think of these areas of the brain that overlap: music, rhythm, math, dance, language/communicating, emotions, socializing.

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