Monday, August 10, 2009

laughter: the rat tickler

"One of the biggest mistakes people still make is assuming that laughter is uniquely human; it's not," says Robert Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore who's studying laughter to gain insight into the biology of social behavior. ...If you tickle a rat, it laughs; we just can't hear it."

from "I laugh, therefore I am" by Blaine Greteman
Ode Magazine, August 2009
If this doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will. This video explains more of the process of how they record the laughter. The rats really like it and develop a relationship with their ticklers.

Laughter really is the glue that holds relationships together.


Joan said...

Then you and I have a pretty sticky relationship!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Nothing about rats is funny.

margie said...

wanda, i couldn't even look at the video. the kittens from sunday, delicious. what did you end up calling them??

vchelle said...

All I want to know is how do he know they are laughing? Could they be screaming, stop it! I'm sooo joking! I laughed when I heard this. It is cool! The same Presence and beauty we have in us, all living has in it so I'm so not surprised!!! One love - one God!

Wanda said...


You are right--it is an assumption that it is laughter. However, it follows the verbalization/breathing patterns of other laughing mammals. Also, when they move their hand away, the rat follows. So it seems that he likes it.