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Turns out rats are ticklish, and they laugh… It might even work using a bat detector like the one we showed you how to construct here @ MAKE… I supposed you could potentially tune in to the rat giggling…

Aristotle declared that humans are the only animal to laugh, but then, he never saw this video of Jaak Panksepp tickling rats.

When you play it, you’ll hear the tickled rats chirping — an ultrasonic noise that’s audible thanks to the special equipment that enabled Dr. Panksepp and his colleagues to discover this phenomenon. Young rats make the same chirp when they chase and play with one another, and they like to hang out with other rats who chirp at this frequency (50 kHz). It seems to be a happy sound: rats will run mazes and press levers in order to be tickled, and they’ll emit the same chirp when the dopamine reward circuits in the brain are stimulated.

What Happens When You Tickle a Lab Rat? See for Yourself – TierneyLab – Science – New York Times Blog – [via] Link & video (MOV).

Related:
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  • Ultrasonic Bat Detector – Link.
  • Weekend Projects – Batometer – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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