The smell of hunger: Norway rats provision social partners based on odour cues of need.

08:00 EDT 24th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The smell of hunger: Norway rats provision social partners based on odour cues of need."

When individuals exchange helpful acts reciprocally, increasing the benefit of the receiver can enhance its propensity to return a favour, as pay-offs are typically correlated in iterated interactions. Therefore, reciprocally cooperating animals should consider the relative benefit for the receiver when deciding to help a conspecific. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) exchange food reciprocally and thereby take into account both the cost of helping and the potential benefit to the receiver. By using a variant of the sequential iterated prisoner's dilemma paradigm, we show that rats may determine the need of another individual by olfactory cues alone. In an experimental food-exchange task, test subjects were provided with odour cues from hungry or satiated conspecifics located in a different room. Our results show that wild-type Norway rats provide help to a stooge quicker when they receive odour cues from a hungry rather than from a satiated conspecific. Using chemical analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we identify seven volatile organic compounds that differ in their abundance between hungry and satiated rats. Combined, this "smell of hunger" can apparently serve as a reliable cue of need in reciprocal cooperation, which supports the hypothesis of honest signalling.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PLoS biology
ISSN: 1545-7885
Pages: e3000628


DeepDyve research library

PubMed Articles [21129 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Provision of Social Services and Health Care Quality in US Community Health Centers, 2017.

To describe the types of social services provided at community health centers (CHCs), characteristics of CHCs providing these services, and the association between on-site provision and health care qu...

Inability to Smell Peppermint Is Related to Cognitive Decline: A Prospective Community-Based Study.

A few studies have demonstrated the association of poorer olfactory identification (OI) with poorer cognition in population-based cohorts. None of them considered the outcome associated with the inabi...

Social Neuroscience: Rats Can Be Considerate to Others.

Are rats willing to avoid causing suffering in other rats? A new study shows that rats might change their behaviour if it is harmful to others.

Development of a clinical support system for identifying social frailty.

Recognizing frailty, also known as clinical geriatric syndrome in the elderly that is characterized by high vulnerability and low resilience, and its extensive influence in clinical practice is challe...

Food refusal as a protest tool. Hunger strikes in Belgian prisons during the interwar period.

In studies on resistance and protest, empirical research tends to concentrate on collective forms of action, those organised within social movements or by resistance groups. As such, research into the...

Clinical Trials [6919 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

HIV Self Testing of Male Partners of Women in PMTCT

The investigators will conduct a randomized trial to evaluate whether provision of oral HIV self-test kits (HIVST) to HIV-positive pregnant women to provide to their male partner, increase...

Experiments to Test How and Why the Sense of Smell Differs Between People

The ability to smell varies greatly between different individuals. Some people are unable to detect an odor that most people can smell. It is not known what causes these individual differe...

Olfactory Training in Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Persons with a loss of sense of smell, who agree to participate in this study, will be assigned to one of three groups: two groups will have smell training and the third group will not do ...


CommunityRx-Hunger (CRx-H) is a hospital-based intervention that addresses food insecurity and other health-related social needs such as transportation, housing, utilities, and safety. Stu...

The Effect of Exposure to Maternal Human Milk Odor on Physiological State of Preterms.

Mammalian fetal sensory development comes in an invariant series, with the tactile/kinesthetic and chemosensory systems the earliest functioning and responsive to stimulation, implicating ...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Eating an excess amount of food in a short period of time, as seen in the disorder of BULIMIA NERVOSA. It is caused by an abnormal craving for food, or insatiable hunger also known as "ox hunger".

Hospital-sponsored provision of health services, such as nursing, therapy, and health-related homemaker or social services, in the patient's home. (Hospital Administration Terminology, 2d ed)

The practice of making choices about SEXUAL PARTNERS based on their HIV status.

Organized efforts to address ongoing psychological and social problems of individuals, their partners, families and caregivers.

An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.

Quick Search

DeepDyve research library

Relevant Topic

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism ...

Searches Linking to this Article