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New Study Shows That Rats Love Dancing To 120-140 BPM Dance Music

22 November 2022 | 1:05 pm | Parry Tritsiniotis

It was previously thought that only humans had the desire to dance along to music.

The University of Tokyo has released a study published in the Sciences Advances journal that has shown that rats can perceive the beat of music and nod their heads, aka dancing.

The journal titled Spontaneous beat synchronization in rats: Neural dynamics and motor entrainment found that rats were most synchronised when dancing to beats between 120 and 140 BPM, similarly to humans. 

Hirokazu Takahashi, Associate Professor From The Graduate School Of Information, stated, "Rats displayed innate – that is, without any training or prior exposure to music – beat synchronisation most distinctly within 120-140BPM, to which humans also exhibit the clearest beat synchronisation."

The study presented the rats with music from the likes of Mozart, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Queen and Maroon 5. They were then fitted with accelerometers, a technology that detects movement to observe the rats' reaction to the music.

It was previously thought that only humans had the desire to dance along to music. 

Takahashi continued, “Music exerts a strong appeal to the brain and has profound effects on emotion and cognition. To utilise music effectively, we need to reveal the neural mechanism underlying this empirical fact.

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“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on innate beat synchronization in animals that was not achieved through training or musical exposure."

He continues, “Next, I would like to reveal how other musical properties such as melody and harmony relate to the dynamics of the brain. I am interested in how, why and what mechanisms of the brain create human cultural fields such as fine art, music, science, technology and religion.”