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  • Seminar Miriam A. Mosing and Fredrik Ullén, KI

    2014-11-25, 13:30

    "Has human music evolved through sexual selection?" Miriam A. Mosing and Fredrik Ullén, Dept of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet Abstract. Music is a universal feature of human culture, but little is known about its origins and functions. In this seminar, we will first give a brief overview of our current research programme on the neurogenetics of music, creativity, and expertise, and then discuss one influential theory of music evolution, i.e. the sexual selection hypothesis by Miller (2000). This hypothesis states that music evolved as a means to signal genetic quality to potential mates, and offers several testable predictions: First, musical skill and activity should be associated with greater mating success, as well as with other traits putatively related to genetic quality. Secondly, these associations should be, at least in part, due to overlapping genetic influences. We tested these predictions in a large genetically informative sample of Swedish twins, using musical aptitude and public music display as measures of musical ability. To assess mating success we examined number of sex partners, age of first intercourse, sociosexuality, and number of offspring. Measures of intelligence, reaction time, and height were used to investigate relationships with traits putatively related to genetic quality. In contrast to predictions, the majority of phenotypic associations between musical ability and mating success were non-significant or significant in the other direction, with those with greater musical ability scoring lower on the measures of mating success. All genetic correlations were non-significant. Further, while we found significant correlations between musical aptitude and other traits putatively related to genetic quality, including intelligence, reaction time, and, in males, height, only the association with intelligence was driven by overlapping genetic influences. Our findings provide little support for a role of sexual selection in the evolution of musical ability. Alternative explanations and limitations are discussed.

  • Licentiate seminar Sandra Stålhandske

    2014-12-02, 13:30

    Sandra Stålhandske defends her licentiate thesis "Spring phenology and post-winter development in a temperate butterfly". Opponent is Kjell Bolmgren, SLU. Welcome!! Olof Leimar

  • PhD dissertation Eleftheria Palkopoulou

    2014-12-18, 10:00

    Eleftheria Palkopoulou will defend her PhD thesis on ancient DNA from mammoths and collared lemmings. Opponent: Ed Green, University of Santa Cruz

  • Docent lecture

    2014-12-19, 13:00

    Fredrik Dalerum will present his docent lecture Friday 19 December at 13:00. Titel: Biodiversity considerations for conservation action Sal: D502

  • Dissertation Karolina Tegelaar

    2015-02-06, 10:00

    Karolina Tegelaar defends her PhD thesis "Dynamics of the aphid-anat mutualism". Opponent is Prof. Judith Bronstein, University of Arizona. Welcome!! Olof Leimar