Mice can move their heads to the rhythm of music – science – life

Research has just shown that moving precisely to the beat of music is not an innate ability that is unique to humans.after checking that mice They also have this ability.

The optimal rate of head nods has been found to depend on constant time in the brain (the speed at which our brain can respond to something), which is similar across species. This means that the ability of our auditory and motor systems to interact and move to the beat of music may be more widespread across genres than previously thought.

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This new discovery, presented in Science Advances, not only provides more information about the animal brain, but also about the origins of our music and dance.

Apparently, the ability to adjust the timing of our movements to music depends to some extent on our innate genetic ability, Until now, this ability was thought to be a uniquely human trait.

Although animals also react to auditory noises, may make rhythmic sounds, or are trained to respond to music, this is different from the complex neural and motor processes that work together to allow us to naturally recognize, respond to or even anticipate the rhythm of a song, This is known as the timing of the strikes.

Relatively recently, research studies (and home videos) have shown that some animals seem to share our drive to switch to music. Now, new work by a team at the University of Tokyo, Japan, shows that mice are one of them.

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“Mice showed innate synchrony, that is, without any prior training or exposure to music,
Of the most pronounced rhythm within 120-140 beats per minute (beats per minute), where humans also show the clearest rhythm synchronization,” Associate Professor Hirokazu Takahashi of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology.

“The auditory cortex, the area that processes sound in our brain, was also set at 120-140 beats per minute, which we were able to explain using our mathematical model of brain conditioning,” he adds.

The expert claims that “Music exerts a strong tension on the brain and has profound effects on emotion and cognition. To use music effectively, we need to uncover the neural mechanism behind this experimental fact, he says. I’m also an electrophysiologist, which deals with the electrical activity of the brain, and I’ve studied the auditory cortex of mice for many years.”

The team had two alternative hypotheses: the first was that the optimal tempo of music for tempo synchronization would be determined by the body time constant. This varies between species and is much faster for small animals than for humans (think of how fast a mouse can move).

The second is that the optimal rate will be determined by the brain time constant, which is surprisingly similar across species.

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“After doing our research with 20 human participants and 10 rats, Our results indicate that the optimal rhythm of rhythm synchronization depends on the time constant of the brain Takahashi says. This shows that the animal brain can be useful in elucidating the sensory mechanisms of music.”

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The mice were wearing miniature wireless accelerometers, which could measure the slightest head movements. The human participants also wore accelerometers in their headphones. Next, one-minute extracts of Mozart’s sonata for a piano piano in D major, K. 448, were played at four different rhythms: seventy-five percent, 100%, 200% and 400% of the original speed.

The original rhythm was 132 beats per minute and the results showed that the synchronization of the rats’ beats was clearest in the range of 120-140 beats per minute. The team also found that both mice and humans shook their heads with a similar rhythm, and that the level of head shaking decreased as the speed of the music increased.

“As far as we know, This is the first report of an innate synchronization of rhythm in animals that was not achieved by musical training or presentation Takahashi explains. We also hypothesized that short-term adaptation in the brain was involved in tempo-tuning in the auditory cortex. We were able to explain this by matching our neural activity data with a mathematical model of adaptation.”

Furthermore, our adaptive model showed that in response to a sequence of random clicks, the best cadence prediction performance occurred when the average inter-stimulus interval (the time between the end of one stimulus and the start of the other) was about 200 milliseconds (one thousandth of a second), “This was in agreement with the statistics of intervals between stimuli in classical music, suggesting that the adaptive property of the brain is the basis for the perception and creation of music.”

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In addition to being a fascinating insight into the animal mind and the evolution of our rhythmic timing, researchers also see it as an insight into the creation of music itself.

“Next, I would like to reveal how other musical characteristics, such as melody and harmony, are related to brain dynamics. I am also interested in knowing how, why and what mechanisms in the brain create human cultural fields such as fine art and music, science, technology and religion,” says Takahashi.

“I think this question is the key to understanding how the brain works and developing the next generation of AI,” he concludes.

European press

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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