According To Science: Birds Respond To Music The Same Way Humans Do

March 29, 2019

We hear birds singing their own unique songs and tunes to each other all the time. But according to a study conducted by Emory University, scientists concluded that birds have shown the same kind of neural activity in their brains as humans when listening to music.

Conducted by neuroscientist Donna Maney and undergraduate Sarah Earp, the study took two groups of white-throated sparrows and measured the activity through the Egr-1, which is a biochemical pathway through the brain that activates in response to stimuli. They examined how the males and females responded to the songs of the male birds that were in the "breeding state" and those that were not in the "breeding state."

Their results showed that both the male and female birds responded in a similar way the human amygdala responds to music. The male birds had similar results to humans when listening to unpleasant music, while the female birds had similar results when listening to beautiful and melodious music.

Earp described her findings in a statement by saying, "We found that the same neural reward system is activated in female birds in the breeding state that are listening to male birdsong, and in people listening to music that they like." She adds, "Both birdsong and music elicit responses not only in brain regions associated directly with reward, but also in interconnected regions that are thought to regulate emotion. That suggests that they both may activate evolutionarily ancient mechanisms that are necessary for reproduction and survival."

You can read up on the complete study by clicking here.