Music and Gene-Culture Coevolution
Have humans evolved neural specializations for music processing, or is music a purely cultural invention based on brain circuits that evolved for other reasons, like literacy? This debate, which goes back to Darwin’s writings on music in The Descent of Man, is far from resolved. While the debate is often framed as a dichotomy between biological vs. cultural views of music’s origins, a new line of thinking is emerging which considers musicality in the framework of gene-culture coevolution. In this talk I introduce this framework and present relevant findings from neuroscience, cross-species studies, and genetics.