TOKYO — Lab mice spent more time watching footage of other mice fighting than they did watching mouse erotica in a study by researchers in Japan.
Forty virgin male mice were shown footage on iPods of mice fighting each other, having sex or sniffing. The first part of the study showed random loops of the videos.
Then the mice were put into a cage where they could choose to watch the iPod playing footage of mice sniffing, or mice humping each other.
The researchers compared this with the amount of time the subjects spent watching mouse on mouse violence, or rodent erotica.
The scientists also gave the mice morphine. They found the mice prefered the rooms with the drugs, no matter what videos were playing.
In the first exercise, mice spent 40 percent of their time watching mouse fights and 35 percent of their time watching mice mating.
In the second exercise, the mice spent 41 percent of their time watching sexy mouse videos, and only 34 percent of their time watching mice sniffing.
The research by Japanese scientists Shigeru Watanabe from Keio University, Kazutaka Shinozuka with the RIKEN Brain Science Institute and Takefumi Kikusui from Azabu University was published in the scientific journal "Animal Cognition."
Barbara Kenig at the University of Zurich in Switzerland told New Scientist: "There is a debate over whether time spent with a specific cue is a good proxy for preference. Mice might just need longer to gain information on whether the objects signal any kind of danger."