The Chronicles of the latest edition of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, studies in depth as to how music has evolved over the years and how humans are responding to it. The providers are of the belief that animals like birds, dolphins, and whales make sounds similar to music as they supposedly try to imitate each other. It was explained that the ability to learn and reproduce sounds is a trait that is necessary for the development of language, and the scientist feel that many of the sounds that the animals make may be the initial foundation to human music.
Another study in the volume looks at whether music training can make individuals smarter. Scientists found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to non-musicians. They feel these differences are probably not genetic, but instead due to use and practice.
Listening to classical music, particularly Mozart has recently been thought to enhance performance on cognitive tests. Contributors to this volume take a closer look at this assertion and their findings indicate that listening to any music that is personally enjoyable has positive effects on cognition. In addition, the use of music to enhance memory is explored and research suggests that musical recitation enhances the coding of information by activating neural networks in a more united and thus more optimal fashion.
Other studies in this volume look at music's positive effects on health and immunity, how music is processed in the brain, the interplay between language and music, and the relationship between our emotions and music.