Rats also react to a good tempo, reveals a Japanese study
The main study focused on reactions to a Mozart piece, but four other songs were also played to human and animal participants: Born this way, by Lady Gaga, Another one bites the dust, by Queen, Beat it , by Michael Jackson and Sugar, from Maroon 5.
Humans aren't the only ones who beat time when they listen to music: Rats do it too, even though their movements are less noticeable, shows a recently published Japanese study.
Rats that had never been exposed to music showed innate synchronization to songs played at 120 to 140 beats per minute. That's the same rhythm frequency that humans typically respond to, according to researchers at the University of Tokyo.
Rat brains are designed to respond well to music even if their body is not moving too much, Hirokazu Takahashi, a scientist who participated in the study published last week in the journal Science Advances, told AFP on Tuesday. p>
That's why Japanese researchers used accelerometers, sensors to measure rodent microvibrations.
“We all think that music has magical powers, but we know nothing of its mechanisms. So we wanted to find out what kinds of sound connections appeal to the brain, without the influence of emotion or memory.
— Hirokazu Takahashi, University of Tokyo
The rats' reactions were tested with several pieces, including Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, played in four different tempos, as well as pop songs like Born this way by Lady Gaga, Another one bites the dust by Queen or Beat it by Michael Jackson.
According to researchers Japanese, the results of their study support the hypothesis of the existence of an optimal tempo for the synchronization of beats which would be common to many species.
Another hypothesis considers that this optimal tempo varies from species to species depending on many physiological factors, such as size and weight.
Mr. Takahashi says he wants to explore in the future the effects of melodies and harmonies on the brain, beyond rhythms: If music affects emotions, it would be very interesting to be able to do so. ;observe on animals.