Soul music

Researchers say Mozart has amazing effect on rats," headlined the Chicago Tribune on August 11. "Music's boost to humans also occurs in rodents," read the subhead. I was skeptical. Like other rats, I like Mozart, but I hadn't known before that his music boosted rodents as well as humans.

The researchers said that "rats raised in a nightly sound bath of a Mozart piano sonata, K. 448, learned to run mazes faster . . . [than] genetically identical animals exposed to the contemporary music of Philip Glass or to white noise." In other words, those rats are maximalists, not minimalists. Frances Rauscher and her team at the University of Wisconsin say that this study "has strong implications for education and enrichment programs" and can help us learn more about how biology connects with experience and intelligence.


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