Researchers discover rats have rhythm and love dancing to Lady Gaga
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A team of researchers has discovered something odd about rats.
While many people on this planet wouldn't want to go anywhere near a rodent, a group at the University of Tokyo were keen to see whether they could get their groove on.
The team hooked a series of rats up to wireless accelerometers that could detect small movements.
This technology has been designed to see if the wearer is moving their heads in time to the music.
According to Sky News, following a musical beat is something that is only really associated with human beings.
But the crew at the University of Tokyo wanted to know whether rats could join us at the next party.
They played the likes of Lady Gaga's 'Born the Way', 'Another One Bites the Dust' by Queen' and even a Mozart piano sonata.
The rats were also treated to 'Beat It' by Michael Jackson and Maroon 5's 'Sugar' to see if any of those beats would register with the animals.
The University of Tokyo's Hirokazu Takahashi said in a statement: "Rats displayed innate — that is, without any training or prior exposure to music — beat synchronisation."
He added: "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."
The results have been published in the journal Science Advances.
Incredibly, the little rodents bobbed their heads along with the songs when they were played at 132 beats per minute.
However, those same little movements weren't detected when the selection of songs was played slower or faster.
Researchers thought the faster music would have appealed to the rats because 'their bodies, including heartbeat, work at a faster pace', according to the ABC.
What's funny is that rats apparently bop their heads along to music in a similar way to humans. Looks like we are more alike to rats than we originally thought.
The team from the University of Tokyo wants to dive deeper into the phenomenon.
Dr Takahashi said: "I am also interested in how, why and what mechanisms of the brain create human cultural fields such as fine art, music, science, technology and religion.
"I believe that this question is the key to understand how the brain works and develop the next-generation AI (artificial intelligence).
"Also, as an engineer, I am interested in the use of music for a happy life."
Topics: News, Science, Animals
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