Rats’ (Rattus norvegicus) tool manipulation ability exceeds simple patterned behavior

Autoři: Akane Nagano aff001
Působiště autorů: Organization for Research Initiatives and Development, Doshisha University, Kyotanabe, Japan aff001;  Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University, Kyotanabe, Japan aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226569


Many studies have attempted to shed light on the ability of non-human animals to understand physical causality by investigating their tool-use behavior. This study aimed to develop a tool-manipulation task for rodents in which the subjects could not manipulate the tool in the direction of the reward by simple patterned behavior. Eight rats had to use a rake-shaped tool to obtain a food reward placed beyond their reach. During the training, the rats never moved the rakes laterally to obtain the reward. However, in the positional discrimination test, the rake was placed at the center of the experimental apparatus, and the reward was positioned on either the left or right side of the rake. Interestingly, this test indicated that some rats were able to manipulate the rake toward the reward without relying on a patterned behavior acquired during the training. These results suggested that rats have the primitive ability to understand causal relationships in the physical environment. The findings indicate that rats can potentially serve as an animal model to investigate the mechanisms of evolution and development of the understanding of physical causality in humans.

Klíčová slova:

Animal behavior – Animal evolution – Animal performance – Learning – Nose – Rats – Rodents – Acrylics


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2019 Číslo 12