Beat: The Seventh Sense

One theory taking flight says only vocal-learning animals can sync up with musical rhythms, and those species make up an exclusive club: humans, some birds, elephants, whales, and dolphins.

By Eliza Strickland|Thursday, April 14, 2011
So you think you can dance? You probably can, thanks to a brain that is remarkably adept at perceiving rhythms and synchronizing our body movements to what we hear. The ability to get into the groove—to step to the beat—is a hallmark of our species, raising the question of why we might have evolved this ability. Neurobiologist Aniruddh Patel at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego looks for answers in brain scans and laboratory tests and also in the fancy footwork of what seems ...

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