While for the longest time, scientists and philosophers argued whether animals are capable of emotions and empathy, some researchers set out to prove their point. And with the likes of Koko the Gorilla, it’s hard to deny that animals are capable of feeling and expressing human-like emotions.
Scientific research reveals that rats are capable of empathy, even with strangers
The basis of the research was that rats showed basic emphatic tendencies, like when one baby cries, other babies cry. However, they wanted to dig deeper and see if rats would go beyond emotion-contagion. It would require for a rat to downplay its fear from emotional contagion in order to help the rat in distress.