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Got Rhythm? Animals Do Too

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Nov. 13, 2006 — Music has the power to affect humans physically and emotionally, and now several new studies suggest it can have similar effects on other animals, from fish to monkeys.

For example, non-human primates seem to prefer the relaxing strains of a lullaby over fast dance tunes, according to a forthcoming study in the journal Cognition that looked at the musical preferences of cotton-top tamarinds and marmosets.

Josh McDermott, a researcher in the Perceptual Science Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and colleague Marc Hauser of Harvard University placed speakers near food-baited branches. Whenever the small monkeys plopped themselves on a branch, the researchers would play music out of the speakers.

During various experiments, the scientists played a Russian folk lullaby performed on a flute, a rendition of the Mozart string concerto K458 in B flat major, a lullaby performed by a German singer or a fast techno track by Alec Empire called "Nobody Gets Out Alive."

Repeatedly, the monkeys gravitated towards the branches next to speakers playing the slowest tempo tunes, which were usually the lullabies.

McDermott told Discovery News that the animals' preferences might have something to do with the extent to which the music was arousing.

"Stressful events in the natural environment, such as fights and storms, often are characterized by rapid sequences of acoustic events, and the monkeys and other animals may have evolved an arousal response to fast events because of this," he explained.

While monkeys may find up tempo music unsettling, many people enjoy a good beat, as is evident at any dance club on a weekend night. But other research conducted by McDermott indicates human babies, like the primates, appear to have an innate fondness for lullabies. It could be that fast music may be an acquired, adult taste.

More to the article. Two pager so this is to ENCOURAGE YOU to click the link. ;P

It's kind of obvious in someways. Having a lizard pet (The Evil Overloard Drake) He always had peculiar reactions to things. When techno is playing, he's climbing the walls of his mesh terrarium, when it's rock, he's sitting on a branch and swaying... He loves music. X)

Edited by SilverCougar

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