Monday, May 08, 2017

Piano Cavemen

Were they the ancestors of piano players?
The brain circuits that led to two-sided tools and weapons such as hand-axes and cleavers are the same as those activated when playing a piano, a study has shown.
The switch from simple flake and pebble technology known as "Oldowan" to more sophisticated "Acheulian" tool know-how is considered a hugely important step in human evolution.
To investigate what brought about the change, British and US scientists conducted brain scans of volunteers as they learned to make Oldowan and Acheulian tools.
They found that Acheulian tool manufacture required a combination of visual memory, hearing, movement awareness and action-planning - all essential ingredients of being a musician.
Professor John Spencer, from the University of East Anglia, said: "Our findings do not neatly overlap with prior claims that language and stone tool production co-evolved. There is more support for the idea that working memory and auditory-visual integration networks laid the foundation for advances in stone tool-making.
Even cavemen had their muse...

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