Why LOLCats Enjoy Petting
In the cutest, funniest, educational science video you’re likely to find, LOLCats are used to illustrate a report on a neuroscience study about why hairy mammals enjoy being stroked.
This brief and adorable production from Nature Video mixes LOLCat images with narration about a experiment with mice that found specific neurons are activated when they are stroked versus other physical sensations, and that when the mice were given a choice they preferred the stroking effect. Although the study didn’t examine cats or humans specifically, it is theorized that all hairy mammals enjoy stroking each other because of the way their brains react. The video features cute imagery of many cuddling, grooming mammals as well as LOLCats.
To learn more, read the (paywalled) original research paper “Genetic identification of C fibres that detect massage-like stroking of hairy skin in vivo,” Vrontou et al, Nature, Jan 2013, doi:10.1038/nature11810.
I can haz stroking now?
Kiume, S. (2013). Why LOLCats Enjoy Petting. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/channeln/2013/02/why-lolcats-enjoy-petting/