Effects of caloric, protein, and sodium deprivation on the affiliative behavior of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus).
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The tendency of food-deprived, protein-deprived, and sodium-deprived Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and their respective controls to affiliate with conspecifics deprived of either food, protein, or sodium was examined. The authors found that (a) independent of internal state, focal rats offered a forced choice between protein-deprived and protein-replete target rats spent more time near replete than deprived target rats; and (b) both food-deprived and sodium-deprived focal rats offered a forced choice between food-deprived and replete target rats spent less time near fasted rats than did well-fed and sodium-replete focal rats. The data indicate that (a) rats can distinguish both food-deprived and protein-deprived rats from replete rats and (b) the deprivation states of rats can affect their willingness to affiliate with deprived conspecifics.