The effects of music on animal physiology, behavior and welfare

Lab Anim (NY). 2013 Feb;42(2):54-61. doi: 10.1038/laban.162.


Physiological and psychological effects of listening to music have been documented in humans. The changes in physiology, cognition and brain chemistry and morphology induced by music have been studied in animal models, providing evidence that music may affect animals similarly to humans. Information about the potential benefits of music to animals suggests that providing music may be used as a means of improving the welfare of laboratory animals, such as through environmental enrichment, stress relief and behavioral modification. The authors review the current research on music's effect on animals' physiology and behavior and discuss its potential for improving animal welfare. They conclude that the benefits of providing music to laboratory animals depend on the species and the type of music.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Welfare / standards*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Music / psychology*
  • Reward
  • Species Specificity
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology