Posts Tagged ‘Lagomorphs’

Mammalian Neurogenesis Breaks Into The Most Static Brain Region

June 9, 2008

Fifteen years ago, the discovery of adult neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) in the highly static, non-renewable mammalian brain was a breakthrough in neuroscience. Most emphasis was put on the possibility to figure out new strategies for brain repair against the threath of neurodegenerative diseases. Yet, unlike lower vetebrates, which are characterized by widespread postnatal neurogenesis, neurogenic sites in mammals are highly restricted within two very small regions. Hence, the fact that protracted neurogenesis in mammals is an exception rather than the rule slowes down hopes for generalized brain repair.

Work carried out in the recent past at the University of Turin, involving Federico Luzzati and Paolo Peretto at the Department of Animal Biology, and Giovanna Ponti and Luca Bonfanti at the Department of Veterinary Morphophysiology, revealed striking examples of structural plasticity and neurogenesis in the nervous system of rabbits. These Lagomorphs show remarkable differences under the profile of neurogenesis with respect to their close relatives Rodents (mice and rats).

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How to Talk to a Rabbit, or, The Language of Lagomorphs

April 18, 2008

We all know how frustrating it is when we’re unable to understand and be understood by others. It’s especially important to be able to communicate with those who share our living space, and for many of us that means being able to fluently speak and understand Rabbit. Unfortunately, too few who share their lives with a rabbit know what their rabbit is trying to tell them, or how to express themselves in terms their rabbit will understand. This guide was written to help remedy this situation by explaining some of the signals rabbits use to communicate, and answer the common question, “What did my rabbit mean by that?”

Being able to speak and understand Rabbit requires that you learn to think at least a little like a rabbit. Your rabbit will never learn to understand many of the mysterious things you do (“Why the heck did she just change into three different outfits before leaving for work?”), but you can certainly understand why rabbits do what they do. You’ll be pretty close to the truth if you think of rabbits as being from a society very different from your own, with different priorities, goals, important lessons, and gestures. Learning Rabbit is in some ways like human cultural studies, but of course the subject individuals have much longer ears.

People who expect rabbits to be like dogs often find the most important difference in the relationships they form with humans is that dogs may give unconditional love and trust, but rabbits don’t. Please repeat after me… rabbits are not like dogs, rabbits are not like cats, rabbits are like rabbits. This is why it’s so important to know how they think and what they want! As it turns out, what all rabbits want more than anything is respect and affection, and when you learn to give these properly (i.e. like a rabbit) you’ll freely get them in return.

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