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  Simultaneous cooperation and competition in the evolution of musical behavior: Sex-related modulations of the singer's formant in human chorusing

Keller, P. E., König, R., & Novembre, G. (2017). Simultaneous cooperation and competition in the evolution of musical behavior: Sex-related modulations of the singer's formant in human chorusing. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 1559. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01559.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-F96A-5 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-B4F5-D
Genre: Journal Article

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Keller_König_2017.pdf (Publisher version), 932KB
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 Creators:
Keller, Peter E.1, 2, Author              
König, Rasmus2, Author
Novembre, Giacomo3, Author
Affiliations:
1The MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney, Australia, ou_persistent22              
2Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634564              
3Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Music; Vocal expression; Singer's formant; Evolution; Non-verbal communication
 Abstract: Human interaction through music is a vital part of social life across cultures. Influential accounts of the evolutionary origins of music favor cooperative functions related to social cohesion or competitive functions linked to sexual selection. However, work on non-human “chorusing” displays, as produced by congregations of male insects and frogs to attract female mates, suggests that cooperative and competitive functions may coexist. In such chorusing, rhythmic coordination between signalers, which maximizes the salience of the collective broadcast, can arise through competitive mechanisms by which individual males jam rival signals. Here, we show that mixtures of cooperative and competitive behavior also occur in human music. Acoustic analyses of the renowned St. Thomas Choir revealed that, in the presence of female listeners, boys with the deepest voices enhance vocal brilliance and carrying power by boosting high spectral energy. This vocal enhancement may reflect sexually mature males competing for female attention in a covert manner that does not undermine collaborative musical goals. The evolutionary benefits of music may thus lie in its aptness as a medium for balancing sexually motivated behavior and group cohesion.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-03-212017-08-282017-09-14
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01559
PMID: 28959222
PMC: PMC5603663
Other: eCollection 2017
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Funding organization : Max Planck Society
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Grant ID : FT140101162
Funding program : Future Fellowship Grant
Funding organization : Australian Research Council

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Title: Frontiers in Psychology
  Abbreviation : Front Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 Sequence Number: 1559 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-1078
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664-1078