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From sole to rock bass, fish are key to music joy
LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Loud music and singing at the top of your voice may be such fun because of a hearing mechanism we have inherited from our distant ancestors -- fish.

British scientists say humans still have a pleasure-inducing mechanism in the ear -- the sacculus -- that is tuned to respond to sound frequencies that predominate in music.

According to psychologist Neil Todd, an expert in music perception at the University of Manchester, the frequency sensitivity of the human sacculus appears to mimic that of fish -- the only other creature to use the sacculus for hearing.

"This primitive hearing mechanism from our vertebrate ancestors appears to have been conserved as a vestigial sense in humans," Todd told New Scientist magazine.

The sacculus had a connection to the part of the brain responsible for drives such as hunger, sex and hedonistic responses. This could explain why music has developed into such an important cultural force.

This buzz may mimic the thrills that people get from swings and bungee jumping, Todd said.

 
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