New paper out!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Remy, the protagonist rat in Ratatouille (2007 Pixar movie) appears ambidextrous while cooking and eating. In order to reveal the preferred paw in our rats, we used a box where a bait could only be reached by using one paw, but not both, through a narrow tube (i.e. paw preference test). We discovered that left-pawed rats were more susceptible to behavioral despair (a rodent model of clinical depression), while displaying better reference memory in the Morris water maze. These findings indicate left paw preference as a vulnerability factor for depression-like behavior in male rats. The key question to ask is whether the same holds true for human beings, and left-handedness can be utilized as a biomarker for at least certain types of depression.

Ecevitoglu, A., Soyman, E., Canbeyli, R., & Unal, G. (2020). Paw preference is associated with behavioural despair and spatial reference memory in male rats. Behavioural processes, 180, 104254.