It's always hard to tell whether a pet actually notices music as something different from less-organized noises, outside of the occasional dog which demonstrates that it can howl in harmony or the parrots which seem to spontaneously (?) dance in rhythm to a tune.

I find myself wondering whether anyone has tried doing brain-activity scans to see whether the same general brain centers light up in other animals as in humans when they hear music, and how that varies depending on species, musical style, and individuals. Music is a mental game of making/breaking predictions, and brains are marvelous pattern-detectors; the question would be how many minds are tuned how well for this kind of pattern and whether they enjoy it in the same way we do.

(Some cats I've known will come into the room when I turn the stereo on, but that may just be because this signals that I'm likely to be sitting still for an extended period and am probably willing to cuddle. I know turning on the living room lamp, which produces a bit of a hum, has the latter effect. Hence the desire to find out what those fuzzy little minds are actually doing.)

Does anyone here know whether such a study has been attempted, and if so where results were posted or what the results were?

  • 1
    My cats do not enjoy it when I sing to them, so clearly they have some musical taste.
    – Zaralynda
    Dec 24, 2014 at 16:56
  • Even though turtles don't quite hear, they rather feel the air vibrations, many people claim their turtles enjoy music. Purely anecdotal, but nevertheless interesting.
    – Mozein
    Jan 7, 2015 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are studies about it. If you search the web you can find many of them. I will leave you with this research so you can check it and of course you can look for many others:

Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs

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