Do rats like to be tickled?

Date: 
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Source: 
University of Bristol

Justyna Hinchcliffe, Emma Robinson (School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience) and Mike Mendl (Vet School) have found that 50kHz ultrasonic calls made by rats provide a graded indicator of positive affective states induced by simulated social play ('tickling').

Not all rats like to be tickled but by listening to their vocalisations it is possible to understand in real-time their individual emotional response, according to new research by the University of Bristol. The study, published today [21 September] in Current Biology, suggests that if this same relationship is observed for other situations, then it may be possible to use call patterns in rats to measure their emotional response and understand how best to improve their welfare

...follow the link to read the article in full on the University of Bristol website...