Thursday, August 15, 2013

8/15/13 The Weiss Discovery

It took me 43 years to hear about Jay Weiss and his rats, but today was the start of what I hope are many more revelations about myself, and the Weiss rats deserve a mention of their own.

Basically, Weiss had a number of different experiments that included a control rat (no shocks, just in the box); a shock rat who had the ability to turn off the shock; and a yoked rat (stuck with the shock rat and equally hurt by the current) who was entirely helpless to do anything to stop it or know it was coming. 

The helpless yoked rat, unable to effect a change over environment or pain, had the most rapid depletion of norepinephrine, which led to high levels of stress hormones, ulcers, and disease. The rat with control suffered far less. 

With the impending return of football yoked to my life, this was a very timely anecdote. 


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