Remember the story about the Pied Piper of Hamelin using music to lure vermin out of town? It turns out he may have been on to something. Scientists have been studying how auditory stimulation in mice and rats affects the other senses, which may have applications for Cape Girardeau pest control.
How Does the Brain Process Tactile Sensation?
Researchers in Japan recently conducted a study of the relationships between the brain’s primary sensor centers. Testing focused on rodents’ barrel cortex, which governs interpretations and responses to tactile stimuli such as pain and temperature. Rat and mice whiskers serve as the rodent version of “fingertips.”
Patch clamps were used to evaluate the barrel cortex’s reaction to various sensory inputs. Although corresponding neurons didn’t react to light, they did respond to touch and sound, which were treated as separate impulses.
Relationship Between Sound and Touch
As Professor Shoji Komai of Japan’s Nara Institute of Science and Technology explained, this test was one of many demonstrating that responses are often multi-sensory rather than distinct as commonly believed. In addition, auditory signals may actually cause a rodent’s brain to expect tactile stimuli.
According to Komai, the process may serve a protective function for rodents. As mice and rats travel at night, auditory and tactile cues could alert them to the presence of predators.
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