Body scheme in rats Rattus norvegicus



Body schemata of rats Rattus norvegicus were studied using a procedure according to which the animals had to take into account the enlarged boundaries of their bodies. Rats of experimental and control groups were trained to get the bait putting the head through the hole of a certain size. Then the boundary of the body of rats of the experimental group was increased using a small cylindrical object mounted on the crown of their heads to prevent putting through the hole. For the control group rats, the size of the hole through which the animals have been trained to take the bait was reduced to prevent the penetration of the rat’s head. In the subsequent experimental series, the arrangement of the holes was varied. It is shown that, with the increased boundaries of the body, the rats are capable of forming a new learning adequate to situation change, which was reflected in the reliable reduction of the time for solving the problem by the end of each series and the reduced number of unsuccessful attempts. Rats of the experimental group also showed the ability to transfer previously gained experience to the new situation, when the location of the holes in the box was changed. The data suggest that the rats are able to modify the body scheme in accordance to change in its physical boundaries.

General Information

Keywords: body scheme, self-reflection, body, rodents, rats, phylogeny of the mind

Journal rubric: Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Khvatov I.A., Sokolov A.Y., Kharitonov A.N., Kulichenkova K.N. Body scheme in rats Rattus norvegicus. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2016. Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 112–130. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2016090109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Ivan A. Khvatov, PhD in Psychology, Head, Center for Research and Education in Biopsychology and Chair of General Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexey Y. Sokolov, PhD in Biology, Chief Research Scientist, Center for Science and Educational of Biopsychological Research, Moscow Institute of psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexandr N. Kharitonov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Kseniya N. Kulichenkova, Post-graduate Student, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, e-mail:



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