Matz Larsson, senior physician at Sweden’s Örebro University Hospital, says musical traits have been engendered by the need for some species to coordinate sounds that briefly prevent them from hearing predators and other dangers.
“When several people with legs of roughly the same length move together, we tend to unconsciously move in rhythm. In the middle of each stride we can hear our surroundings better,” explains Larsson.
Such behavior favoring evolutionary success is typically rewarded with the release of the “feel good” chemical dopamine in the brain.
In humans, Larsson believes that such enjoyable rewards eventually extended to activities like handclapping, foot-stomping and yelping around prehistoric campfires.
Writing in the journal Animal Cognition, he says that from there, it was only a short step to dance, song and rhythm in which dopamine still plays an important role today.
Prehistoric Cave Painting: File