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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A unique human trait: rythm

Research by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has discovered that newborn human babies can perfectly detect and synchronize the beat in music. This trait, probably related to the origins of music, appears to be uniquely human, as our closest relatives (chimpanzees and bonobos) do not seem able to synchronize their behaviour with rythmic sounds.

More at Science Daily.

It makes you think because we typically consider the most uniquely human traits stuff like logic, speech or even the famous precission peg of our hands or even walking upright on two legs. But this issue of music and rythm would appear to be more "primitive", maybe just because it's so intuitive, rather than merely logic (though in Antiquity music and maths were often studied together).

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