Social discrimination in group housed laboratory rats

Project Details

Description

Recent evidence from a range of species shows that individuals with close, enduring social bonds experience less stress, superior competitive abilities, improved reproductive success, and live longer. Rats are highly social animals in the wild, forming complex societies of up to several hundred individuals, often consisting of sub-groups of cooperative breeding females and males with overlapping home ranges. However, in domestic and laboratory settings they are rarely housed in groups larger than pairs, offering little opportunity to fully express the range of social strategies that are part of their natural repertoire. This project explores the nature of social bonding in group housed rats, assessing the extent to which rats form discriminating relationships with different individuals (either positive, neutral and negative associations).
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/10/1731/03/18

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