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Take courage, parents of teenagers and everyone else offended by rock music. Science is providing you with new ammunition.

It seems that a physicist and a neurobiologist recently conducted an experiment to test the effects of various background sounds on laboratory mice. The results should be edifying.Harvey Bird of Fairleigh Dickinson University and Gervasia Schreckenberg of Georgian Court College had one group of mice spend eight weeks exposed to the discordant drumbeats of rock. When placed in a maze, says Schreckenberg, these mice "took much longer to find the food than the others. They were wandering off with no sense of direction." When dissected, their brain tissue showed abnormal neuron structures in the region associated with learning and memory.

By contrast, the mice that had spent the eight weeks listening to Johann Strauss waltzes performed normally.

Get the message, rock fans?