Tail pinch-induced eating: Is it the tail or the pinch?

A. S. Levine, J. E. Morley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Mildly pinching the tail of the rat results in a set of consummatory behaviors including eating, chewing and licking. This phenomenon has been characterized as one which is not causally dependent on induction of pain. In the present study we report that pinching the scruff of the neck, the ears, or the rear paw of rats also results in consummatory behaviors similar to those observed during tail pinch. We suggest that stress-induced eating caused by pressure applied to various regions of the rat involves the perception of noxious stimuli (nociception).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-567
Number of pages3
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Martha Grace for her excellent technical assistance and Valarie Wesley for her secretarial assistance. This research was supported by Veteran's Administration Research.


  • Appetite
  • Consummatory behaviors
  • Feeding
  • Pain
  • Pinch
  • Stress induced eating
  • Tail pinch


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