Music and the Evolution of Embodied Cognition

In M. Clasen J. Carroll (ed.), Evolutionary Perspectives on Imaginative Culture. pp. pp 163-181 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Music is a universal human activity. Its evolution and its value as a cognitive resource are starting to come into focus. This chapter endeavors to give readers a clearer sense of the adaptive aspects of music, as well as the underlying cognitive and neural structures. Special attention is given to the important emotional dimensions of music, and an evolutionary argument is made for thinking of music as a prelinguistic embodied form of cognition—a form that is still available to us as contemporary music creators and consumers.

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Stephen Asma
Columbia College Chicago