Sing Me to Sleep That I Might Learn Thee Loves Me (Matings Part 4)

[[…continuing what was started in I Love the Way You Say That (Matings Part 1), Sex on the Beach (Matings Part 2) and Sing Me a Little Song (Matings Part 3)]]

I wrote about how the sounds we make affect our mating potentials in I Love the Way You Say That (Matings Part 1) and Sing Me a Little Song (Matings Part 3). Those posts dealt with how women and men respond to the sounds their partners make. This post deals with a time the sounds we make are extremely important; when we’re with our children.

Mothers around the world sing or hum their children to sleep. Fathers around the world may not sing and often, when a mother or mother surrogate isn’t available, will hum, coo or otherwise vocalize to their children when it’s time to nap (and if they do sing, excellent!).

Those young minds are both amorphous and agile. Just because their eyes are closed don’t think they’re not listening…and learning.

Babes’ and young children’s brains are basically information gathering engines. Very little goes unnoticed by them and what they record is amazing in both scope and quality. They may not recognize what they record — sights, sounds, tastes, scents, touches, emotions, thoughts, … — as we do and record it never-the-less they do.

Examples of this type of recording and learning are cultural specific foods. Have you ever heard of comfort foods? Comfort foods are things we eat when we need solace, love, attention, caring, concern, …basically when we want to return to the womb to regroup. We seek out and eat the things mom and dad, grandma and grandpa gave us when we bruised our knee or lost a toy. This goes well beyond chocolate and such. Comfort foods are amazingly culture specific.

In my case, comfort foods include hot capocollo, soppresetta, spaghetti sauces that make your eyes water as they cook because they’re so spicy, … things my darling wife wouldn’t let past her lips. She, on the other hand, has the audacity to seek out things like liverwurst (oy!), sauerbraten (ok, I guess), sauerkraut (I’ve learned to live with it) and the like. Both are culture specific, both are comfort foods.

Much like foods, the sounds we hear as we go to sleep — especially when we’re children — create neural pathways that science is just beginning to figure out. It’s been known for a while that natural sleep helps us organize and systematize our memories. One new study indicates it also helps us learn to control our movements.

Our movements? In our sleep? When someone is singing?

Yes. Have you ever twitched while falling asleep, perhaps whacking your hand on the nightstand or kicking off the covers? Those twitches are called jactitations. Usually minor and often amusing, they can also be indications of more severe pathologies.

Jactitations occur when the conscious and non-conscious parts of the mind are handing over control from one to another. The brain knows not to let the body walk when we dream we’re walking, but sometimes the brain isn’t sure and we kick our legs once or twice.

In children, this is neuro- and sensori-motor practice. Our dogs and cats chase rabbits and sparrows in their sleep, twitching, sometimes woofing and meowing away. It’s much the same thing.

And it turns out singing, humming, cooing and vocalizing to our children (probably our pets, too), helps their brains learn how to control muscle movement. It allows for better mind-body integration and physical coordination. I don’t think anybody is exactly sure why just yet and there is evidence it is so.

The thing to remember is that it’s not talking (as in “conversation”), it’s non-verbal sounds. Talking (as noted in previous posts) uses different parts of the brain than does singing, cooing, etc. I’m willing to bet children’s brains are building pathways to match those adults have when they sing and such.

That’s real learning and yes, it would help in mind-body integration and physical coordination.

Sing a little song to your children as you lay them down to nap, moms and dads. It’ll let them know you love them, yes, and you’ll also be helping them later in life by preparing their brains and bodies to harmonize.

(budda-bum)


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Sing Me a Little Song (Matings Part 3)

[[…continuing what was started in I Love the Way You Say That (Matings Part 1) and Sex on the Beach (Matings Part 2)]]

I wrote about the importance of sound in the mating game in I Love the Way You Say That (Matings Part 1). That post dealt with how women could determine if a potential partner was going to work out based on the sound of their voice.

It turns out the same is true for men, although it takes a slightly different turn. It’s not so much the sound of their voice, it’s whether or not they sing. Or hum. I think laughter qualifies, too.

It turns out that part of the male’s mental wiring is to determine life-partner value and worth by sound. This happens all the time in the animal world. Everything from mosquitoes to elephants hum, sing or otherwise make sounds that attract each other. TV documentaries tend to focus on the mating calls of the males and it also true that males are drawn to the mating sounds of females.

How do humans do it?

Men like to hear their partners laugh, sing, hum…forgive the possible stereotype, but anything but talk. Talking involves different parts of the brain and we use our voices differently when we talk than when we vocalize in any other way.

Although there’s no evidence for this at present and what I write here is my personal opinion, I wonder if the reason males are attracted to the sounds of laughter, singing and humming has to do with when they were babes in their mothers’ arms. Most mothers (and this is cross-cultural) make very distinct laughing, singing and humming sounds with their children, not talking (as in “conversation”) with them until the child is ambulatory (meaning “they can get around on their own. You don’t need to carry them everywhere”).

So much for my opinion.

So guys, does your potential partner sing or hum or laugh (and not just at your jokes). And do you like it? Even better, does his or her voice sound like music to your ears? Congrats, you’ve got a keeper.


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I Love the Way You Say That (Matings Part 1)

[[Spring must be in the air…at least in the northern hemisphere…because we received eleven (11!) requests for mating advice (selection, attraction, attachment, recognition, adornment, …) in the past few days. That’s a bit of a record for us. I think it’s due to the longevity of our (Susan and my) relationship (and it took lots of work).

Anyway, I sent people copies of blog posts I wrote a while ago when this blog was on another platform. We’re resurrecting them here – there’s seven total – one per day over the next week or so and just in case there’s other folks out there looking for love in all sorts of places.

Enjoy!]]

Ladies, do you enjoy hearing your partner talk? Sing? Hum?

There’s something to be said for whether you do or don’t. You do: chances are you’ve found your life long mate. You don’t: chances are your relationship won’t last much more than…well…than a few matings if that long.

It seems that females are more sensitive to their “family” sounds than males are (generally speaking, of course). The best example of this is the mother who can hear and isolate her child’s cry of distress amongst all the sounds of all the activity of a public playground.

Well, this auditory sensitivity extends to life-partners and would-be life-partners, too. Women tend to bond more closely with males whose voices are a natural harmonic of their own.

Natural harmonic?

Can you imitate your partner’s voice really well? Not just the way they talk or the words they use, but the actual tone of their voice? Can they do the same with yours? Congratulations, your voices are probably natural harmonics of each other. You may not be exactly an octave apart (musically speaking) and chances are you’re either close or a multiple of it or some musical interval of it (a third, a fifth, a seventh, no diminished chords, no augmented chords, et cetera).

There are lots of reasons this sensitivity leads to long term relationships; hearing our own “voice” makes us comfortable and puts us at ease, it demonstrates acceptance by the group, things like that. The cognitive and sociologic factors are numerous, really, and seem to play across cultures.

So the next time you’re in a meeting and you find yourself mildly interested or a little attracted to someone speaking, listen carefully…you probably are, anyway.


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Joseph Carrabis on Neuro-Economics and Reading Virtual Minds Part 1 of 2

[[Another for completeness sake. This post is a resurrection of a post on another blog that’s gone into the great internet of the west. We’re reposting here because completeness is a big thing with us. By the way, you should buy and read Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation. We also suggests everybody pick up a copy of Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History because that’s what completeness is all about.]]

You’ll need javascript and flash enabled to hear this amazingly erudite speaker discussing the most fascinating topics


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Social Media: Exafference – Passive Participation (the “They’re Giving You Their Time” Part) – and Reafference, or Creating Active Participation

[[This is a resurrected post from another blog. We’re ressurecting it because J references it in Reading Virtual Minds Volume II: Experience and Expectation and the other blog is kaput. By the way, you should also get a copy of Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History because he likes royalties.
PS) This is the third part of an arc that started in The Lost Prelude to “Human Nature Meets Social Media – The Brain Science Behind Participation by Joseph Carrabis, DishyMix Guest Blogger” and continued in Human Nature Meets Social Media – The Brain Science Behind Participation by Joseph Carrabis, DishyMix Guest Blogger.]]

Recapping…

  • Getting people to move from exafferent (passive) to reafferent (active) social media involvement has to do with fair-exchange. Fair-exchange means the site owner/management has to take a “personal” stake in building and maintaining the relationships that are the core of social networking and social media usage.
  • The nature of our species is that once women feel safe in a social network they will add content more readily than men will. One of the principle aspects of this safety is that women will generally feel safest (nonconsciously, anyway) in a woman-woman network than in a mixed gender network.
  • People become socially active in proportion to their recognition (and the type of recognition they receive) in a given social group (network). This means site owners/management need to demonstrate that each person in the network has value to the network. There are an incredible number of ways to do this and which ways to use are dependent on the type of network, its purpose and goals. Note that the purpose and goals to members may be (and usually are) quite different from the purpose and goals as defined by site owners/management.

I was going to start this installment with a description of “direct address” and I saw that Susan Bratton was already there. Her Rally for Suz: Help Me DOUBLE My DishyMix Audience [[Thankfully deceased]]blog post is an excellent example of direct address; simply stating what you want. I wrote in The Stephane Hamel, Susan Bratton, Eric Peterson Convergence and more “Thoughts on Blogging” “Direct address is something NextStage and others’ research has indicated is a powerful motivational tool in social networks — simply asking people to take part. Works 99.99999% of the time and is an element of what NextStage talks about in “Using the 10 First Contact Marketing Messages” [[Check our Training Schedule to learn when this class will be offered. Make believe you’re voting in Chicago, check early and often]]. This is also something that shows up in NextStage’s Principles as “People who don’t ask for what they want deserve what they get.”

One of the things NextStage’s tools can do is determine when “direct address” should be used in marketing material, on websites, videos, speeches, in trainings, whatever, to reach and motivate audiences into action. Direct Address can take the form of text, music (anybody who’s been in a gym club aerobics class has heard someone’s best attempt at using direct address music (and often without knowing what it’s really about, sad to say, hence with mixed results), or audio (listen to a well crafted political speech (regardless of language) or a “motivational” speech (ditto)), visual/video (some of the best examples I’ve ever seen are the plays/movies of Neil Simon and David Mamet. Another excellent example is the Peter Falk-Alan Arkin version of “The In-Laws”). You can read an example of using sonic (sound, music, audio) direct address at The Investors Heard the Music [[one of the sections in Reading Virtual Minds Volume I: Science and History and you should get a copy because J never lets up on this]]. The best use of direct address is with a mélange of all forms, just make sure that mélange is highly orchestrated for effect. And of course I’m limiting this discussion to a western cultural audience.

Direct Address works so well because it’s part of our evolutionary history – we’re designed to communicate directly with each other, in person. The advent of exafferent communication methodologies (print, radio, video) means we had to learn ways of communicating “direct address” when we couldn’t receive the other person’s response cues (we didn’t know how they were interpreting our message).

What did we do? We went back to our primitive origins. Think back to prehistoric images (prior to writing forms regardless of their usage), things like the Trois Freres and Lascaux paintings and their counterparts worldwide. There are no images of thoughtfulness, of “sedentary” acts. All depictions are of action. Flash forward to TV commercials when TV was young. Did they want to sell you a washer? Then they had a spokesperson showing you how to use the washer. Later on they thought they were becoming more sophisticated and they didn’t show you mom washing until near the end of the commercial. First they showed you kids and dad getting dirty.

Today we applaud and honor witty and cleverly done commercials and I always wonder “What were they selling?” If the average exafferent participant can’t figure out what the commercial (print, audio, video, whatever) is selling within the first ¼-1/3 of a commercial’s run time or scan time then the marketing message is lost.

Fortunately direct address is done fairly easily and in many obvious ways (I’ve demonstrated several examples at eMetrics, IMedia and other conferences). Examples of direct address are well documented in studies of verbal signaling, directional processing, cognitive distancing, …, things that psycholinguists and semioticists deal with daily. You can find them used in law enforcement, security work, litigation, interrogation techniques, most investigative work…and successful marketing practices.

(I often get a kick out of audience reactions when I demonstrate that interrogation techniques are simply an intensified form of marketing practices, or that the most prevalent form of direct address that most people are familiar with in modern society is pornography. Does interacting with pornography cause a reaction in you? Welcome to direct address, the act of getting you to respond whether you want to or not. (and I’m not justifying pornography, only recognizing it as a cultural phenomenon and influencer))

My next post in this series will share some of the simple and easy to follow rules for getting people to participate in social media that fall from everything we’ve discussed in this thread so far.


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