German researchers have found that rats not only enjoy being tickled, but that they love it so much they will chase researchers for more.
The study by the Humboldt University of Berlin found that the rodents were drawn to researchers’ touch.
Part of a video showing part of the tickling research was reposted to the National Geographic YouTube page yesterday, and has since been viewed tens of thousands of times.
The video shows a researcher tickling a rat while noting how it makes happy noises and searches for a hand afterwards.
“Rats recognise the researcher’s hand as its playmate and approach the hand to be tickled more. Eventually they start chasing the hand rapidly,” the video’s narrator says.
The research team said that in addition to making “laughter-calls”, rats also responded to tickling by performing “unsolicited joy jumps”.
The team also identified the part of rats’ brains that they believe is responsible for generating the sensation …