Anxiolytic effect of Mozart music over short and long photoperiods as part of environmental enrichment in captive Rattus norvegicus (Rodentia: Muridae)

  • J N Cruz Department of Medicine, University of the Extreme South of Santa Catarina
  • D D Lima Department of Pharmacy, University of Joinville Region
  • D D Dal Margo Department of Natural Sciences, Regional University of Blumenau
  • J G P Cruz Department of Natural Sciences, Regional University of Blumenau


Music is known to be able to elicit emotional changes, including anxiolytic effects on humans and animals. Photoperiod has also been reported to play an important role in the modulation of anxiety. In the present study, we examined whether the effect of music on anxiety is influenced by day length, comparing, short day (SD; 8:16 h light/dark) and long day (LD; 16:8 h light/dark) with controls (CD; 12:12 h light/dark). After 8 weeks of photoperiod treatment, rats were randomly assigned to 2 groups: silence and music. In the music group, rats were exposed to music 24 h before behavioral tests to quantify anxiety level. Exposure to Mozart music reduced anxiety in rats in the CD group. These effects of music were abolished by LD. Independently of music, rats exposed to SD exhibited higher levels of anxiety-like behavior than rats exposed to CD, in elevated plus-maze and open-field tests. The present findings suggest that the anxiolytic effects of Mozart music are photoperiod-dependent.