Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:31, 3:31 and 5:49 a.m.

Tipsy Rodents

Can rodents wear beer goggles?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying:

Dey sher canz!

Meet Allison Anacker, from Oregon Health and Science University.  She studied the effects of drinking on pair bonds among prairie voles.  Why prairie voles?  Unlike other vole species, they readily swill alcohol and form strong mating bonds.  They're just like us!

She paired male and female prairie voles until they bonded.  Then, to spice things up, she got 'em drunk!  Don’t worry, PETA.  She provided alcohol and water.  Any boozin’ was of their own, uh, vole-ition.  She separated the couples, then reunited them – along with other partner options.  And?  Drunk males ditched their leading ladies for others!  Females?  Alcohol boosted that loving feeling toward mates.

Brain analyses showed that alcohol directly impacted neural pathways involved in bonding.  That is, the effects were not simply a byproduct of messed up emotions and judgment.  It’s the first evidence of such a direct effect of alcohol.

In voles anyway.  A related study is being done on alcohol, human judgment, and karaoke.  No, but perhaps it should.

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.