THE humble mouse is a doughty workhorse of science. Every day, in laboratories around the world, the little critters are subjected to all manner of carefully controlled insults, from electric shocks to the induction of cancer (see article), all in the name of research. But the mice in the lab of Shigeru Watanabe, a psychologist at Keio University in Japan, have a more enjoyable life than most. For Dr Watanabe is interested not in their bodies but in their minds. Specifically, he is exploring their taste in fine art.