Bad Ralph

31 08 2015

Anhedonia in pigs!

31 08 2015

Not just in horses, shows a new paper (though here induced by an acute manipulation rather than a chronic one).

Temple Grandin’s here, but not everyone’s happy

27 08 2015

Temple Grandin’s giving a talk here tonight. I won’t be going – I’ve seen it already. But I was interested to read about some protests that are planned. We in the welfare group very seldom step back and take a really critical look at at the whole shebang, and I can totally understand how we can look like apologists. Unfortunately the protest organizer’s Facebook page suggests he’s in favour of mink releases (there was another one recently, though small: ‘only’ 300 mink), which I find a bit off-putting…

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Could we be that lucky?

27 08 2015

Maria needs four cool days and four hot days for the next phase of her floor area study (in which the mink choose between bigger and smaller cages). Cool days are easy, hot days not so much as it’s been distinctly autumnal the last few days. But look!

Scoring cat faces for emotion

24 08 2015

Lee Niel and are (slowly slowly) hatching a plan to test the hypothesis that cats’ emotional states (e.g. contentment) can be read in their faces. Potential post doc Jenna Cheal is raiding You Tube for cats in rewarding or aversive situations, and here are four of her findings, two of each. What do you think?

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Well, on average we’re normal

22 08 2015

We saw Stephen Pond off today, as his Masters is done and he flies back home to Australia on Monday. Sadly he found no effects of stereotypic behaviour on aggression or social learning, but the mice were very, very old so I am going to try and replicate that effect again before giving up on it. He did, however, find that the enriched old ladies were mysteriously far nicer to new cage mates than were mice who’d spent their lives in ‘shoeboxes’.

As can be seen, Stephen is as extremely tall as I am extremely short. I just can’t decide which pic I like the best – the one that’s like a 19th century anthropological study of different tribes, or the one where I look like his ventroquist’s dummy. (Thanks to Maria for the photos!).



Email of the week

15 08 2015

Yay for Heather!!!

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Scientists teach father to communicate emotions using rudimentary hand gestures

15 08 2015

Witchy shopping list

12 08 2015

Spotted this in Danielle‘s notebook. We need more serum from a normal goat? Or serum from a more normal goat??

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Gradually getting there?

12 08 2015

To the left is a slice of mouse caudate (x 20) washed with DAB but without our primary anti-delta-fos-B antibody (the ‘negative control’). To the right is another slice, incubated with the antibody (a 1:500 dilution seemed to work best, of all the many variants tried). Danielle and I so want this to work, it almost hurts. Are we getting there at last?