Assessing the Relation Between Itching and Scratching

The quest advances, scratch by scratch, in the search for an excellent rodent itch model:

Quantitative assessment of directed hind limb scratching behavior as a rodent itch model,” Hiroshi Nojima and E. Carstens,  Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 126, no. 2, June 2003, pp. 137-43. The authors, at Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan and University of California, Davis, USA, report:

“Hind limb scratching is used increasingly as an itch model in rodents. Scratching is usually quantified as the number of scratching bouts over a 60 min period…. [Our] results validate the total number of scratching bouts as an indicator of the magnitude of itch-related scratching.”

This unrelated video shows an example — an unusual example, in that it also involves a man’s head — of hind-leg scratching by a different species, a dog: