What happens if you give Froot Loops to a rat and study its penis

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Not such a comfort — To see how a man’s stress levels and diet might alter his shape, one might give comfort food to a stressed rat and study its penis. Researchers at the State University of […]

A Jerk and a Creep / Lighting Up / Live Long? / Unfunneled Superpower

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: A jerk and a creep — “Hidden jerk in universal creep and aftershocks” may sound like the name of a Hollywood movie – and maybe some day it will be. But for now, it is exclusively […]

Rats! Curses! Automation!

This study, from one of the many golden ages of psychology, now supplies data for researchers who wish to try to analyze the psychology of researchers who developed an apparatus which allows for the thoroughly automated monitoring and recording of shock-elicited vocalization in rats: “An automated apparatus for recording shock elicited vocalization in the rat,” Hank […]

Pizza’s rat-sex study, and pizza rat

Pizza’s rat-sex study has been overshadowed by this video of a rat dragging a slice of pizza, which currently is entrancing the Internet: Pizza’s rat-sex study is: “Hexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts,” A. F. G. Cicero, S. Piacente, A. Plaza, E. Sala, R. Arletti, and Cosimo […]

Certain effects of molecularly heavy vs light bits of instant coffee…

Curious about what happens when you take instant coffee, separate it into components that have different molecular weights, and then stick those component separately into different test tubes that have rat spleen cells in them? If so, this is the study for you: “Influence of molecular weight on in vitro immunostimulatory properties of instant coffee,” Cláudia P. […]

The curses of being a rat: Landmine-detection reinforcement

Bit by bit, people work to devise improvements in procedures related to explosions. This study tells of one such effort: “Landmine-detection rats: An evaluation of reinforcement procedures under simulated operational conditions,” Amanda Mahoney, Kate Lalonde, Timothy Edwards, Christophe Cox, Bart Weetjens and Alan Poling [pictured here], Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, epub March […]