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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Rodent empathy is environmental and not genetic, study shows
Rats, like humans, will show kindness to strangers, but only if the rats in distress are of a familiar type, a new study has found.
Neurobiologists from the University of Chicago have discovered that rats display empathy-like behavior toward other rats, but the basis of that empathy is environmental, rather than genetic. The creatures aren’t born with an innate motivation to help rats of their own kind, but instead those with whom they are socially familiar.