Improved maze learning through early music exposure in rats

Improved maze learning through early music exposure in rats

Rats were exposed in utero plus 60 days postpartum to either complex music (Mozart Sonata (k. 448)), minimalist music (a Philip Glass composition), white noise or silence, and were then tested for five days, three trials per day, in a multiple T-maze. By Day 3, the rats exposed to the Mozart work completed the maze more rapidly and with fewer errors than the rats assigned to the other groups. The difference increased in magnitude through Day 5.

This suggests that repeated exposure to complex music induces improved spatial-temporal learning in rats, resembling results found in humans. Taken together with studies of enrichment-induced neural plasticity, these results suggest a similar neurophysiological mechanism for the effects of music on spatial learning in rats and humans.


  • Steve

    Well then, I believe its time to get some headphones with a really huge headband.

    The baby on board is getting some direct musical injection, through the halls of the tummy.

  • Chris

    This is really cool! It shows a very basic relationship to music and the brain, one that cannot be cultural! These patterns are being heard and some part of the brain is trying to sort them out, and that part is being developed more than without.

  • Sparky

    Wow, this brings up some new spins on the benefits of getting your daily dose of music.

    So the complexity of the tune affects how your brain is affected! Not only did the rats run faster, but they also had fewer errors. And the effects of the study kept increasing. Awesome.

    If I listen to more complex tunes myself, will it help me understand teenagers better?

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