Games To Play With Your Pet Rat

If you are looking for a new game to play with your pet rat, may I suggest hide-and-seek?

A rat playing hide and seek. Credit: Reinhold, Sanguinetti-Scheck, Hartmann & Brecht

Neuroscientist Juan Ignacio Sanguinetti of the Humboldt University of Berlin does just that. Drawing inspiration from YouTube animal videos (really!) he has taught rats to play hide-and-seek. His work was recently published in the journal Science.

The rats can both hide and seek. Surprisingly, their reward is not food but “social interaction” (usually tickling). And the rats enjoy the game so much they look for ways to prolong the sessions.

The complete story, including video (which you have to watch to believe, is at https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/rats-hide-and-seek/ .

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