Humans are not the only animals known to move to the beat of music.
For parrots too. And now mice have been observed banging their heads in time with the music of Mozart, Lady Gaga, Regina and others, researchers reported on November 11. Journal of Sciences.
What’s more, the animals seem to respond at the same times that they get when people’s feet hit them. The study may help reveal the foundations of the human sense of rhythm.
“Some of us believe that music is a very special human culture. But I believe that its origin is somehow inherited from our progenitors,” says Hirokazu Takahashi, a mechanical engineer at the University of Tokyo who studies how the brain works.
The ability to recognize the beat of a song and conforming to one’s body movements is known as beat synchronization. It is a mystery why some species, such as humans and parrots, have this innate ability and others do not.SN: 4/30/09).
For rats in the lab, Takahashi and his colleagues put on Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major” (K. 448). The team sped up and slowed down time, then played it at normal speed, observing the movement of the wall not only visually, but also with wireless accelerometers that surgically stopped the mice.
The team initially thought that body size could determine the pace at which head bopping is used. Humans prefer to tend to foot-tapping music that beats between 120 to 140 beats per minute, but a small animal like a rat would probably need a faster time for the same reaction, the researchers hypothesized.
“There are lots of reasons to think maybe” [rats] he prefers faster rhythms. But that’s not what they found. And this is inexplicable,” says Aniruddh Patel, a psychologist at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., who was not involved in this research. Music studies cognitive processes involved in perceiving and responding to music.
In the video recording, the rat’s broken head was more pronounced when the sonata was played at its usual tempo, around 132 beats per minute. The same is true for 20 people who listened through headphones with accelerometers.
From astrology to zoology
Add Science News to satisfy your omnivorous appetite for universal knowledge.
For both humans and mice, head bopping stopped at about 120 to 140 bpm. When the music played faster or slower, then no head bopping. That suggests there’s something fundamental about how an animal’s brain is wired to respond to rhythm, Takahashi says.
The band also played some of their songs for the crowd, including Lady Gaga’s “Born That Way” and Michael Jackson’s “Hit It,” and saw a similar response.
While Patel agrees that rats seem to prefer beating like humans, he is not convinced that rats can adapt to the noise like humans do.
“I think it’s interesting to ask questions rather than to move the answers in some way,” Patel says. Humans and parrots show pulse synchrony through large, voluntary movements such as head bobbing, dancing or foot tapping. The mice showed very small movements, which required the capture of special devices such as the head’s accelerometer and motion capture technology.
The behavior was even more noticeable when the researchers induced the rats to stand on their legs by placing a water bottle at a height, compared to all fours.
“The main purpose of pulse perception and synchronization is to predict the pulse and predict it,” he says. “So we land right on the beat or a little ahead.” Since the rats’ movements are so small, it is not clear if the rats can predict the beating, or if they are just reacting to it.
Both Takahashi and Patel stress what this study does not they show that rats like to dance to human music. “Music is very stimulating to the brain,” Takahashi says. “But I do not testify” [that] they enjoy or perceive music. “
Next, Takahashi looks to see what other types of music we share with mice and other animals. “Maybe we want to show how other properties, like melody and harmony, also relate to brain dynamics.”
#Mice #bop #heads #number