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Abstract

Rats had learnt special abilities in a test chamber. The next step was to test whether these special abilities would have any influence on social interactions in a test chamber. The behavior of male BDE-rats was tested in three different situations. 1. Rat A was able to handle a central lever to get food (ability f) and rat B had learnt to press a lever in front of the test chamber to get water (ability w). 2. Rat A had learnt both abilities (f and w) and rat B had learnt neither. 3. Both animals had learnt the abilities f and w. Subsequently it might be possible that in some special test-situations one of the animals will learn from the other. In control series, therefore, other rats had to learn the ability f or w, or f and w without the presence of another rat.

The results suggested that the behavior of the rats was influenced by the learnt ability. Another result was that there is no connection between the learnt ability of an animal and its social rank. The learning results of the rats which learnt alone in the test chamber (control group) were better than the results of the subjects which had the chance to learn in the presence of a partner.