Researchers discover rats can groove when you play Lady Gaga and other pop music, a new study suggests

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If you’re bumping Lady Gaga at home there is a chance nearby rats (especially in Chicago and New York) are bopping along too.

That’s right! Just like many humans, rats are proven Little Monsters too.

Lady Gaga performs on stage during The Chromatica Ball Summer Stadium Tour at Friends Arena on July 21, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)Getty Images for Live Nation

Researchers studied the response of rats to pop music. According to a University of Tokyo study, which has been published in Science Advances, a peer-reviewed journal, rats can indicate and dance along to the beat of a rhythm, USA Today reported.

Researchers played not only Mozart and Gaga’s “Born This Way,” but iconic songs Maroon 5′s “Sugar,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” for the rats. Their head movements were measured and the results were compared to humans also in the study.

According to USA Today, the music was played at four different tempos. The news release said animals can be trained to move, but rats reportedly have an “innate” ability to jam.

“Rats displayed innate — that is, without any training or prior exposure to music — beat synchronization most distinctly within 120-140 bpm (beats per minute), to which humans also exhibit the clearest beat synchronization,” said Hirokazu Takahashi, an associate Professor in the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology at University of Tokyo, in the news release. “The auditory cortex, the region of our brain that processes sound, was also tuned to 120-140 bpm, which we were able to explain using our mathematical model of brain adaptation.”

“Music exerts a strong appeal to the brain and has profound effects on emotion and cognition. To utilize music effectively, we need to reveal the neural mechanism underlying this empirical fact,” added Takahashi. “I am also a specialist of electrophysiology, which is concerned with electrical activity in the brain, and have been studying the auditory cortex of rats for many years.”

Read more of the report via USA Today and the study here.


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