As scientists it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing so narrowly on our projects that we lose sight of how we fit in to the world around us. Luckily for us, there are folks like our friend Mark Changizi, PhD, neuroscientist and author, who tackle the questions that are so big (Why do we see in color?) we often miss them. In his most recent work, Harnessed, Changizi proposes that music evolved to fit our brains, not vise versa. In fact, noises we’re keenly aware of in nature–like the sounds of humans moving in our midst–serve as the building blocks for music. We listen to the sounds of nearby humans to determine whether someone is coming or going, threatening or peaceful, near or far–and we prepare our response accordingly. Music then, having been designed from those sounds, elicits an instinctual emotional response, which helps explain why throwing a loud, fast-paced speed metal album on tends to make us alert and aggressive, while delicate classical music may put us at ease.