Female rats release a trapped cagemate following shaping of the door opening response: Opening latency when the restrainer was baited with food, was empty, or contained a cagemate
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAndersen, Johansen. Female rats release a trapped cagemate following shaping of the door opening response: Opening latency when the restrainer was baited with food, was empty, or contained a cagemate. PLOS ONE. 2019 https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223039
Research on pro-social rat behaviour is growing within the fields of comparative psychology and social neuroscience. However, much work remains on mapping important variables influencing this behaviour, and there is even disagreement on whether this behaviour is empathetically motivated and correctly labelled pro-social, or whether the behaviour is motivated by social contact. The present study used the helping behaviour paradigm where a rat can release a familiar cagemate from a restrainer. Prior to testing with a trapped cagemate, restrainer door opening was trained and baseline opening latencies when the restrainer was empty or baited with food were established. The findings show that the first-time release occurred sooner than in previous research and that rats used a previously demonstrated response to release the trapped cagemate. Further, rats opened the restrainer door more often and with shorter latencies when the restrainer contained a cagemate than when the restrainer was empty, but less often and with longer latencies than when the restrainer contained food. The test of whether illumination levels affect door-opening included in the study showed no effects.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
SeriesPLoS ONE;14 (10): e0223039
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