Life Lines

What’s so funny?

In this video, Dr. Jaak Panksepp describes how he discovered that rats apparently laugh, producing an ultrasonic sound which more resembles chirping than laughter as we typically think of it:

Further research by Dr. Panksepp has shown that young rats tend to be more ticklish that older rats and that “laughter” ceases when the animals smell the odor of a cat or when they are hungry. As you might expect, his findings have been debated by other scientists.

To read a recent interview with Dr. Pankseep about rat “laughter” and his theories, click here.

Scientific American