As we already know, scientists are using rats and mice for a lot of lab experiments, from health and clinical trials to science-related stuff. In a recent test, scientists decided to teach rats how to drive. And the most exciting part of the experiment is that the researchers also figured out that the rats enjoyed driving.
Kelly Lambert and her co-workers from the University of Richmond created a miniature car from a food container, by adding wheels and copper bans. The scientists trained the rats how to drive by using the reward method. They continually rewarded the lab rats with food each time the animals moved the car forward.
In time, the scientists placed the food further away from the mini-vehicle so that the rats had to tune their driving abilities to reach the food and eat it. They were able to memorize how to drive to reach the reward.
Rats learned how to drive in a new scientific experiment
The rats figured out how to control the miniature car to reach the food. Using their paws, the animals managed the vehicle by pressing on the correct copper bans. The scientists reviewed the rats’ body chemistry, and they found out that the rodents enjoyed the experiment.
“They learned how to navigate the car in unique ways and engaged in steering patterns they had never used to arrive at the reward eventually,” Kelly Lambert stated for the New Scientist. Kelly Lambert and her colleagues concluded that rats could learn sophisticated tasks and perform them correctly.
The experiment showed that even slightly primitive animals like rats could learn demanding tasks. The scientists taught rats how to drive, and the rodents enjoyed this test. We already know that mice and rats can learn how to perform complex tasks. The new trial, however, revealed that rodents could enjoy scientific experiments.