Rats can understand the pain of others, but give priority to themselves when snacks increase

Humans can take '

altruistic actions ' in favor of others without regard to their own losses. This altruistic behavior is a kind of physiological phenomenon caused by brain activity, and it is said that animals other than humans also take altruistic behavior. A research team at the Dutch National Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) has shown in experiments that 'rats can choose altruistic behaviors like brains like humans.'

Harm to Others Acts as a Negative Reinforcer in Rats: Current Biology

Rats avoid hurting other rats

The research team placed two cages next to each other and put a mouse in each cage. Then, we prepared two levers for one basket, and created a mechanism that said, 'Press one of the levers to get a snack.' Then, after the rat learns that `` pressing a specific lever out of the two levers will give you a snack '', scientists will hear a weak electric shock on the floor of the next basket when the mouse presses the lever with a snack Was rewired as follows.

Then, the rat learned that pressing a specific lever can get a snack, but when he noticed that the next rat was receiving an electric shock, he stopped pushing the lever where the snack came out. thing.

According to the research team, the response varies depending on the individual, and one rat stopped pressing the lever at the moment when the next mouse noticed that it was receiving an electric shock, the other lever It seems that some rats did not press the lever but did not show any sway at all.

Also, when the same experiment was performed under the condition that the amount of snacks given as a reward for pushing the lever was tripled, it was found that the next mouse continued to press the same lever even if the next mouse received an electric shock. Rats can choose altruistic behavior, but if they exceed a certain standard, they will choose 'selfish behavior' that prioritizes their own interests.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain becomes active when humans sympathize with the pain of others. Injecting a local anesthetic into the rat brain to reduce activity in the same area as the human anterior cingulate cortex showed that the adjacent mouse did not stop pushing the lever when it was shocked. Was.

From this, Julen Hernandez-Lallement, the lead author of the research paper and NIN researcher, states that `` like humans, rats hate to harm others ''. You.

'It's amazing that humans and rats use the same brain area to avoid harm to others. We don't harm our fellow humans,' said Valeria Gazzola, one of the authors of the paper. The moral motivation they are doing has been shown to have been acquired early in evolution. '

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1i_yk