Animals know how to have fun. The story of how scientists were playing hide and seek with the rats

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2019-09-28 20:20:11

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Animals know how to have fun. The story of how scientists were playing hide and seek with the rats

Rats get pleasure from the game of hide and seek

Recently that cats are just crazy dogs. It seems members of the cat family can celebrate the outstanding ability of the rats — according to a recent study, lab rats can learn to play hide and seek and even get pleasure from it. Unconventional experiment, the results of which are published in a recent issue , sheds light on a refined sense of the game from tiny rodents and the complex mechanisms involved in their brain. The researchers also concluded that this type of game is not devoid of evolutionary benefit.

Games — an important part of the evolution of mammals

In recent decades, scientists have begun to investigate neural, behavioral, and evolutionary basis of games. The fact that games can confuse because they lack an obvious purpose. However, all types of animals from rats to elephants and people love to play. According to experts, in a sense, games are an important part of the development of mammals. Probably games help train the brain. This is the opinion of a neuroscientist from the University of Humboldt in Berlin, Michael Brecht, lead author of the study.

In the study, researchers documented the simple types of games all species of mammals, including ones that appeared to emit ultrasonic "giggle" when tickled. Can you imagine? It is not surprising that Brecht and his colleagues listened to the words of rat owners that their Pets can learn to play hide and seek. The uniqueness of the experiment is that hide and seek — it's quite a difficult game for several reasons. It requires an understanding of the rules, as well as a clear understanding of the individual roles of the players and ability to take on different roles in different rounds.

And you play with your Pets? Share your stories in the comments and members

How scientists were playing hide and seek with rats

The Researchers trained six rats to play hide and seek alone. They equipped a big room with cardboard barriers, and small containers, which served as a refuge for rats and for people. began with the moment when the rat was placed in a small box in the middle of the room. If the rat was supposed to find, a scientist was hiding, and then remotely opened the box. But if the rat had to hide, the scientist squatted at the box when the rat came out, prompting a small rodent to get in the shelter. All six rats learned to look for scholars, and five of them were able to hide.

during the game, the rats quickly learned the rules and learned to seek and hide

As a rule, in experiments with laboratory rats, the researchers rewarded the rodent food. But Brecht and his colleagues knew that rats can be trained to perform very complex tasks, offering as a reward not only food, therefore, wanted to achieve a natural reaction to the game. Thus, during a game of hide and seek when the scientist had found a rat or when a rat found the scientist, the animal received a reward in the form of petting, tickling or playful fights before the game continued.

The Rats turned out to be surprisingly sophisticated players. If scientists allowed them to spy on the rats used visual cues to find scientists faster. Animals are also checked shelters, which the enemy used repeatedly. When one is found, the rat was published that scientists have measured, but not heard. Experts suggest that the signals can recall the triumph of the winner and to mean "I found you!"

If you have a home live rodents, do not neglect close contact with them and they love it

However, rats totally changed when they were supposed to look. They frequently changed their hiding places and preferred to hide in boxes opaque instead of transparent. When they were found, the rats did not produce any sounds that indicated that they tried their best to remain undetected. At the same time, a sign that the rats received a fun game, scientists believe the fact that rodents often actually extended the game, running away from the researchers and hiding, thereby delaying social interaction. According to Brecht, there were other signs that rats were enjoying a game of hide and seek. They often "gleefully jumped up", teased scientists and published a multitude of sounds, when the game was done.

How is the brain of rats reacts to the game of hide and seek?

While the rat played, the researchers recorded the brain activity of individual neurons in the medial — the areas related to the observance of rules and social intimacy. Scientists have discovered that neurons of rats specifically responded to different events in the game.

it Turned out that rats are devious players in hide and seek

According to Brecht, the fact that rats quickly learned the rules and were able to play with such sophistication of means that for rats the concept of the game is not new. This behavior is probably widespread in the animal world, although exactly how many species of animals indulge in games is still unknown. Experts who were not involved in the study say that amazing is the fact that rats received pleasure from the game. According to lead authorstudies, it is possible that games help young animals to learn to escape from predators and establish with other individuals.

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