November 10, 2016

Rats laugh.

When you tickle them. Listen here.
Not only did they seek out the researchers’ hands to get tickled, and emit ultrasonic calls that are considered the rat’s equivalent of laughter, they also made joyful leaps....

Those calls, along with the ability to record brain activity while playing with the rats, allowed a deeper investigation of rat tickling. The researchers first accustomed young rats to play and tickling, which the rats would invite. “They are very eager to be tickled,” said Dr. Brecht.
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28 comments:

Bill said...

Never doubted it. Rats are delightful creatures (the domesticated variety, that is).

Sydney said...

The rat in the video didn't seem to be seeking the hand. It looked like it couldn't escape in that little box. Also- how do they know it's laughter and not screams?

Gahrie said...

How many millions of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent on this absurdity?

mockturtle said...

They get so little respect.

Gahrie said...

50 Quatloos to the first person to link to an article somehow tying tickling rats to climate change.

David Begley said...

Looks like a new rat drawn by Althouse.

There is Laughing Cow cheese. We need Laughing Rat cheese.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucien said...

DO they really laugh, or is it more like a giggle?

Rob said...

This is why there's high-pitched laughter in the New York subways.

robinintn said...

Willard was unavailable for comment.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

Socially Awkward Guy Who Makes No Eye Contact says:

I had a pet rat once. My Mother hated him, but that's because she never took the time to learn how smart and warm and affectionate he was...

I taught him tricks, and at night he would nuzzle me on the nose and then go to sleep beside me while I tickled his tummy. Sure, there were tiny bits of rat poop on the bed, but the acne on my back left blood and pus on my sheets anyway, so who was I to be picky? I mean, my rat never once complained about me wetting the bed: we had a real deep bond that way...

Anyway, one day my mother brought home a cat and said the cat was a REAL pet. That same night the cat killed my rat while I was sleeping: I still torture myself with the thought of not being there for him when he needed me most, the little guy...

Then -- the next day after Mom's cat killed my rat -- my Mother gave the cat away and said now we don't need a cat anymore, did we? Sometimes I picture my rat coming back a hundred feet tall and tormenting my Mother in a corner of the kitchen as she cries and pees and cries some more. Look who's peeing NOW, Mom: look who's peeing now...

Like no one else thinks these things.

I hope the Girl with the Blue Hair is working at McDonalds today.


I am Laslo.

EDH said...

Hillary Clinton Laughs While Discussing Defense of Child Rapist.

Drago said...

Ernest Borgnine has been triggered!

Bob said...

News flash: Leonard Cohen has passed away.

befinne said...

Stop with the damn rats. They make my iPad screen jump up and down uncontrollably. Never had this til the rats.

dreams said...

I'm sick of nasty bubble crybaby liberal rats and what they've done to our country.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Sydney said...
"Also- how do they know it's laughter and not screams?"

Science, Sydney. Trust us, it's Science.

Saint Croix said...

This morning I was telling my Bible study that the rat caused the black plague!

Here's the theory. Superstitious people associated the black cat with witchcraft. So they started killing all the black cats. And probably some white and gray cats, too. I mean, once you accept the "it's a witch!" theory, it's not like they can't change their fur color. Anyway, in a fit of superstitious nonsense, Europeans killed cats across Europe.

And that's when the rats showed up. And they were carrying the black plague on their bodies. And so many, many people died.

I first saw this theory on the Ratatouille DVD, by the way. They wanted to defend the rat from causing the bubonic plague. Technically it was lice and fleas, not the rat. Lice and fleas stowing away on the rat.

Anyway, I just found out, according to the WaPo, rat is innocent!. It was those damn cute gerbils!

openidname said...

They know it's laughter and not screams because the rats keep coming back to the place where they were tickled.

Kudos to the scientists who managed to get funding for this.

virgil xenophon said...

I mention to my wife of 42 years "Did you know that rats can laugh?" "Sure," she answered. "How did you know?" I replied. "I'm living with one" came the retort. Walked right into it, lol

rhhardin said...

Rats died in the black plague too. In fact that's why the fleas leave. No heat.

Curious George said...

James Comey laughs when tickled.

MarkW said...

Rats also are capable of altruism:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/05/rats-forsake-chocolate-save-drowning-companion

mikee said...

Decades ago I helped a squeamish grad student execute her lab rats during her study on acetaminophen liver toxicity. The rats, which were accustomed to being held already, were picked up and spun in large circles to dizzy them into quiescence, then rapidly beheaded.

Rats can get used to anything is my message here. Getting used to tickling is nothing compared to getting used to beheadings (well, once per rat).

mikee said...

Decades ago I helped a squeamish grad student execute her lab rats during her study on acetaminophen liver toxicity. The rats, which were accustomed to being held already, were picked up and spun in large circles to dizzy them into quiescence, then rapidly beheaded.

Rats can get used to anything is my message here. Getting used to tickling is nothing compared to getting used to beheadings (well, once per rat).

Bad Lieutenant said...

My cousin says that to pith a mouse you hold it behind the head and then you pull on the tail.