This article is from the WSSF 2012 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
From Mayumi Anderson, CA
Did You Know? Rats laugh when tickled. Dr.
Jaak Panksepp, professor of veterinary and comparative
anatomy at Washington State University in Pullman, found
the chirps of the rats laughing are tied to activity in
centers of the rat brain (laughter is a lower brain process
as in humans). The rats enjoy the tickling and would chase
the doctor’s hand for more, though special sound
equipment is needed to hear the high-frequency chirps.
This study led to the development of a potential
antidepressant for humans that is in the testing phase.
There is a new book out called Animal Wise: The
Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by Virginia
Morell that has a chapter titled
The Laughter of Rats that
tells of Dr. Panksepp’s work. 2013. Crown, NY. ISBN