Music synchronizes brains of audiences with their performers

The more people enjoy music, the more similar their brain activity is to that of the musician When a concert opens with a refrain from your favorite song, you are swept up in the music, happily tapping to the beat and swaying with the melody. All around you, people revel in the same familiar music. You can see that many of them are singing, the lights flashing to the rhythm, while other fans are clapping in time. Some wave their arms over their head, and others dance in place. The performers and audience seem to be moving as one, as synchronized to one another as the light show is to the beat. A new paper in the journal NeuroImage has shown that this synchrony can be seen in the brain activities of the audience and performer. And the greater the...

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New research shows for the evolution of intelligence, parents matter

Humans are not the only species that enjoy prolonged childhoods: elephants, whales, dolphins and some bats and birds do also. Is this what makes us smart? And if so, how important are long-suffering parents? Exploring this with corvids - songbirds that hang around their parents in and out of the nest and have large brains relative to body size - researchers found those that spent more time with parents learned faster and lived longer. How intelligence developed has long fascinated evolutionary scientists, with several theories such as brain-to-body size ratio. But, considering large brains take a long time to grow, not many theories have given due credit to parents for shaping their offspring's cognitive development. Michael Griesser, from the University of Konstanz, Germany, recognised there must be an evolutionary perk to extended parenting. "Brains are weird adaptations - they come...

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