Cooperation in social dilemmas in rats

Game theory has constituted a powerful tool in the study of the mechanisms of reciprocity. Having shown, in a Prisoner’s Dilemma game, that rats shape their behaviour according to the opponent’s strategy and the relative size of the payoff resulting from cooperative or defective moves, we now aim at dissecting the mechanisms underlying the decision-making process during such social dilemma games. We have designed and set-up an automated maze to study the behavior of rats in different social dilemma games, such as the Stag Hunt and the Snow drift game, which allow for dissection of the factors that govern cooperation between two rats.

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