Music and dance are so deeply embedded in the human experience that we almost take them for granted. They’re distinct from one another, but intimately related: Music — arrangements of sound over time — causes us to move our bodies in space. Without knowing it, we track pulse, tempo and rhythm, and we move in response. But only recently have scientists developed the tools, and the inclination, to quantitatively study the human response to music in its many forms. It’s a research program that relies on a wide array of approaches, employing techniques from the study of perception and cognition to those of neurobiology and neuroimaging, with additional insights from psychophysics, evolutionary psychology and animal studies.

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