Paul Kemner en beBee in English Database Admin • Liebherr Aerospace 18/11/2016 · 1 min de lectura · +800

Scientists are tickling giggly rats to crack the mysteries of laughter (link)

Scientists are tickling giggly rats to crack the mysteries of laughter (link)

At parties and bars, he introduces himself as a "rat tickler."

The title makes Shimpei Ishiyama sound like he belongs in some forgotten guild of yore, with the Victorian "pure-finders," who collected dog dung for a living, and the "flankers and flaggers," who kept partridges in the range of hunters' guns.

But he is, in actual fact, a neuroscientist, and his rat-tickling is anything but antiquated. By trying to titillate these rodents — and recording how their neurons respond — Ishiyama and his adviser are unraveling a mystery that has puzzled thinkers ever since Aristotle posited that humans, given their thin skin and unique ability to laugh, were the only ticklish animals.

Aristotle was wrong, it turns out. In a study published Thursday in Science, Ishiyama and his adviser, Michael Brecht, not only found that rats squeaked and jumped with pleasure when tickled on their backs and bellies, but also that these signs of joy changed according to the rodents' moods. And, for the first time, they pinpointed a cluster of neurons that makes this sensation so powerful that it causes an individual being tickled to lose control.

"It's truly innovative and groundbreaking," said Jeffrey Burgdorf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University who reviewed the paper. "It takes the study of emotion to a new level."

article continues....


Aurorasa Sima 18/11/2016 · #6

#5 Most fun is poking my hamster with a straw of hay. He´s half blind and when he sees a shadow or something touches him he attacks it. God, I love him.

Both, my 30 times bigger rabbit and 12 times bigger Guinea pig are VERY afraid of the little dwarf hamster Putin.

+2 +2
Wayne Yoshida 18/11/2016 · #5

Tickling guinea pigs is more fun. cc: @Aurorasa Sima

+3 +3

Nothing lift your spirit more than see your rat smiling at you....on a Sunday morning
( just kidding )

+2 +2
Franci Eugenia Hoffman 18/11/2016 · #3

Interesting read Paul Kemner. Our cat likes to be tickled under her chin and the pads of her paws.

+1 +1
Praveen Raj Gullepalli 18/11/2016 · #1

Am sure there's more to the tickle than meets the laugh Paul! :) As kids we tickled our pets to distraction (dogs and cats, and you may thrown my squirrel (Bushy) in there too). Even that occasional cow or calf that feels ticklish under the chin ;) As siblings at war during bedtime our pillow fights sometimes transmogrified into a tickling spree, that would invariably end in an incontinent pee! I dunno about torture by the feather, but i sure can tickle someone pink in any weather ;)

+2 +2