EFFECTS OF PRIOR FOOD COMPETITION ON THE RAT'S KILLING RESPONSE TO THE WHITE MOUSE by NORMAN W. HEIMSTRA 1) and GRANT NEWTON (Department of Psychology, University of Rochester, U.S.A.) (Rec. 15-VIII-1960) INTRODUCTION When an albino mouse is placed in a cage containing a rat, the rat will often attack and kill the mouse. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine what effects past experience, in the form of competition for food, had on the development of this killing response. The "killing-response" of the rat toward the mouse has been the subject of a series of investigations by P. KARLI. In the initial study of the series, KARLI (1956) attempted to analyze experimentally the physiological and environmental conditions which elicit, abolish, or modify the killing response. In later studies (1958, 1959), IlnRL1 studied the effects of various drugs on the development and modification of the response. Using both domesticated and wild Norway rats, KARLI (1956) found that about 70% of the wild rats and about 12% of the domesticated rats killed "spontaneously" and consistently. Although the percentage of domes- ticated rats which became mouse killers was small, they typically killed sooner than did the wild rats. Killing,
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1961
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