Tag Archives: rats

We're not going to discuss "the dress" or the great llama chase of 2015 (where was I yesterday?) ...but there's plenty else to talk about!

False memory in bumblebees

In an experiment that might be called "confuse a bee," bees were trained on two different stimuli that indicated a reward (a yellow flower, or a black and white striped flower). After training, they were given three flowers to choose from: one yellow, one black and white striped, and one YELLOW striped - combining qualities from the test stimuli. Bees chose the flower most recently rewarded.

A few days later, the bees started to chose the yellow striped flower, suggesting their memory was getting fuzzy and they were hedging their bets for a treat! Read more here.

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Rats do better with a friend

Rats exploring a new environment do better with a buddy. Scientists measured rats second exploration of a novel space either alone or with another rat. Rats who had a buddy on that second trial were more exploratory, and the effect lasted through a third solo trial. Read more!

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Toddlers laugh at your misery

Schadenfreude isn't just for adults anymore. Young children expressed joy at the bad fortune of others, bad fortune being defined as when water was spilled on the book that their mother was reading to a playmate .

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Whiskers like fingers

Whiskers in other mammals might serve a purpose similar to our hands and fingers - rats were shown using their whiskers to navigate and avoid obstacles, depending on the novelty and complexity of the environment. Read about the study here.

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Helping in rats is learned, not hard-wired

Nice write up of a study that found that albino rats would help struggling rats (by freeing them from a cell they were trapped in) of a different strain, but only if they'd been socialized with them; they will free rats of the same strain, regardless if they are a familiar or a stranger.

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