What occurs in the brain of a crocodile when it is exposed to sophisticated sounds, like classical music? An international scientific team, led by Felix Strockens of the Department of Psychobiology at Ruhr University Bochum, has answered the query. They placed a crocodile into an MRI scanner and played some Bach symphonies for the reptile.
The German scientists put the croc in the MRI scanner and exposed it to several Bach symphonies just to see what is happening in the reptile’s brain when exposed to complex sounds sequences.
The study’s report has been published in Proceedings Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
More precisely, while exposing the reptile to several stimuli, both auditory and visual, including some symphonies composed by the renowned Johann Sebastian Bach, the scientists conducted scanning of the croc’s brain activity.
The crocodile exposed to Bach classical music has shown brain patterns similar to those recorded in mammals and birds
As an outcome, the scans have depicted that more brain regions were activated when the complex sounds of classical music were listened by the animals, in contradiction with the readings of exposure to plain sounds.
Crocodiles are part of the oldest vertebrate breeds and they have undergone very limited evolutionary modifications in over 200 million years. They are, therefore, seen as the bridge between the dinosaurs and the birds as we know today.
“Analyzing the brains of crocodiles provides insight into the evolution of mammalian nervous systems and can help us understand where certain brain structures and associated behaviors formed,” explained Felix Strockens.
In conclusion, for the first time in history, the scientists studied a crocodile with a fully functional MRI and, thus, they have been capable of establishing that the classical music, more specific Bach, triggered some patterns in the reptile’s brain, which resembled the ones recorded in both mammals and birds, as informs Science Daily.