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Tool manipulation by rats (Rattus norvegicus) according to the position of food.


ABSTRACT: Tool-use behaviour has been observed in nonhuman animals in the wild and in experimental settings. In the present study, we investigated whether rats (Rattus norvegicus) could manipulate a tool according to the position of food to obtain the food in an experimental setting. Eight rats were trained to use a rake-shaped tool to obtain food beyond their reach using a step-by-step protocol in the initial training period. Following training, the rake was placed at the centre of the experimental apparatus, and food was placed on either the left or right side of the rake. Rats learned to manipulate the rake to obtain food in situations in which they could not obtain the food just by pulling the rake perpendicularly to themselves. Our findings thus indicate that the rat is a potential animal model to investigate the behavioural and neural mechanisms of tool-use behaviour.

SUBMITTER: Nagano A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5519611 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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