By Paul Friedlander
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Extra info for Epigrammata Greek Inscriptions in Verse from the Beginnings to the Persian Wars
Less neural activity is needed to perform them, and so the brain is freed up to focus on other cognitive processing (Louwerse et al. 2012:19). This latter includes, most importantly perhaps, memory functioning, in particular the efficient transfer of new information into long-term memory (Macrae et al. 2008; Marsh, Richardson, and Schmidt 2009:329; Miles et al. 2009). It has long been recognized that packaging information via rhythmic devices—for example, paring back language and organizing it according to meter and rhyme (as in epic poetry), and reciting or singing 30 Chapter 3 words to a melodic musical backdrop—is an effective means for memorizing and transmitting information.
In the absence of constraints, their interrelation tends toward symmetry. Behavioral symmetry that emerges within a time frame is called synchrony or entrainment (Louwerse et al. 2012:2). The common or shared behavior that emerges from synchrony is the foundation of social custom. Being able to bring one’s behavior into synchrony with—conformity to—that of one’s fellows offers significant advantages. Evolution may favor the preferential survival to reproductive age of individuals who are seen to be more able and willing to modify their own behavior in line with the needs of the group.
These are the beginnings of mimicry and imitation, of awareness of Self and Other, and of “resonant empathy,” that is, a natural sense of similarity between Self and Other, stripped of the cognitive musings of theory-of-mind that become layered over resonant empathy during childhood. Resonant empathy is most closely linked with immediate or “instinctive” emotional responses that result from the activation of the mirror system. This progresses to shared attention to objects and actions within the immediate visual environment.
Epigrammata Greek Inscriptions in Verse from the Beginnings to the Persian Wars by Paul Friedlander