Rodents Show Empathy and Console Their Friends

Prairie Voles Engage in Empathic Behavior and Console Each Other

One of the hallmarks of empathy is the capacity to console another being in a time of need or distress. Such behavior is widely displayed among humans and great apes, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that other species console each other as well.

Take prairie voles, which are rodents that form long-term monogamous pairs and raise their offspring together. Emory University researchers conducted an experiment in which prairie voles were isolated from other familiar voles, then exposed to a stressor.

 

By Dr. Becker