Title:Is Mice Behavior Influenced by Music?
Is mice behaviour influenced by music? An effect of music on the behaviour of humans and animals has been shown in different experiments. Already anecdotal reports show that continuous and consistent background music can help to overcome the negative effects of environmental noises in animal facilities. The aim of this study was to evaluate if and to what extent, musical stimuli could influence the behaviour of laboratory mice. The experiment data was collected, in the form of continuous video and ultrasound recordings, from twenty SPF (specific pathogen free) CD1 male mice, which were randomly paired and put in an open IVC (individual ventilated cage) for the exposure of human music. The mice have been exposed to different musical stimuli, composed for humans and in rodentized, i.e. ten-times faster and higher in pitch version. This paper will focus on the effects of musical stimuli, in human form, on mice, evaluated according to video recordings. The selected pieces were Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major”, K 448 and Bach’s “Goldberg Variation” (BW 988": Aria, var.2, var.3, var.8 and var.10, presented by Glenn Gould). First the basic behaviour of the mice was recorded, afterwards the animals were exposed to Mozart, and after a break to the Bach music, followed by another music free interval. In each of the five (basic, Mozart, music-free, Bach and music-free) in human and in “rodentized” version) sections the behaviour was evaluated according to following parameters: running, sniffing, grooming (itself or the other mouse), resting, rearing, digging, eating, possible ultrasound (US) vocalization and exploration of the US microphone. There was no US vocalization. The ethogram was recorded using millimetre-paper. The evaluation of the results appears to comply with the relaxing qualities attributed to the Bach composition. The locomotion was replaced by resting and grooming during and following the exposure to Bach. It is questionable if Mozart music elicits any effect on the mice. The central locomotive behaviours decrease constantly in comparison to the basic behaviour. However, the eating and digging behaviour reaches its maximum, during and following the exposure to Mozart music. Exposure to music of laboratory mice may contribute to the improvement of their welfare (3rd “R”: Refinement), but the choice of musical background should be chosen cautiously.