A new study has found that rats, like humans, will avoid actions that can cause pain to their fellow beings.
This trait is known as harm aversion.
Researchers believe their findings will help scientists develop new treatments to increase harm aversion in human patients who show psychopathic behavior.
“We share a mechanism that prevents antisocial behaviour with rats, which is extremely exciting to me,” says professor Christian Keysers, study group leader at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. “We can now use all the powerful tools of brain science to explore how to increase harm aversion in antisocial patients.”