American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2012 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Laughing Rats

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 reward 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 978-0-307-46144-5.

July 21, 2015