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The Behavior of the Laboratory RatA Handbook with Tests$
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Ian Q. Whishaw and Bryan Kolb

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162851.001.0001

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(p.60) 6 Somatosensation
The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat

Linda Hermer-Vazquez

Raymond Hermer-Vazquez

John K. Chapin

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses five principles for how sensorimotor behaviors are learned and performed by rats, based on new findings from neuroscience. It focuses on nonvibrissal somatosensory processing but also considers examples from the whisker-tactile system or from other sensory modalities. These principles are: (i) analyzed somatosensory feedback information is constantly influencing the ascending somatosensory data stream in rats; (ii) rats are constantly evaluating information across multiple timescales to more accurately predict what will happen in their world; (iii) information from multiple spatial scales is processed simultaneously in the rat; (iv) rat sensory and motor processing are constantly influencing one another; and (v) rat behaviors appear to be organized into survival-related repertoires that can be adapted to novel circumstances.

Keywords:   laboratory rats, sensorimotor behavior, nonvibrissal somatosensory processing, somatosensory behavior, rat behavior

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