Science often provides us with particularly whimsical and memorable moments, like the time a neuroscientist trained rodents to play Doom. In a new experiment, accompanied by an article published in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, a goldfish is shown driving a motorized “car” filled with water.
The study was conducted by Ben-Gurion University (Israel), under the premise of understanding the goldfish’s ability to drive under stimuli. The car has a water tank, and it follows the direction the fish wants. For example: if the animal is swimming to the right, then the “car” is also going to the right.
In the experiment, the scientists set a pink target in which direction the fish should go. To encourage them to go in the direction they should, the researchers offered food as a form of reward. In the video, it is possible to better understand what we are talking about:
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The study counted, in total, six goldfish, the famous Japanese, or kinguio. According to the researchers, initially the movements of the fish were random and irregular, but over time, under training, these movements became more calm and deliberate.
After a few days, the cars stopped wandering randomly around the room and started shooting straight toward the pink target, indicating that the goldfish could learn to navigate in completely unfamiliar environments. For the future, the scientists aim to see if fish can navigate longer routes, in less planned situations.
source: behavioral brain research
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