When we touch something, how do sensations from our hands get translated into perceptions by our brains? Meet two scientists who are trying to answer that question with a curious tool: rat whiskers. Just like hands are to humans, whiskers are rats’ primary sensors of touch. Analyzing how whisker sensations get processed by rats’ brains is providing a powerful model that’s helping reveal the mysteries of our own sense of touch.

This video is based on:

The Morphology of the Rat Vibrissal Array: A Model for Quantifying Spatiotemporal Patterns of Whisker-Object Contact, a paper published by Mitra Hartmann and colleagues in the online journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Psychometric Curve and Behavioral Strategies for Whisker-Based Texture Discrimination in Rats, a paper published by Daniel Feldman and colleagues in the online journal PLoS ONE.

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3 Responses to “Episode 2: Whisker Wonders”

  1. Linda says:

    This video is fascinating. It is however difficult to listen to it straight through, as the speech is broken up. Is there another place to hear a clear version of this data?

  2. Science Bytes says:

    Hi Linda,

    You can try to watch on the PBS site if the vimeo video isn’t working properly for you.

    Here is the link: http://video.pbs.org/video/2070435179


  3. Heaven says:

    Thanks for sahinrg. What a pleasure to read!

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