October 24, 2019 This is an interesting article presented in Phys.org.
U.S. Scientists trained a group of rats to drive tiny cars for rewards and it was found that the rats stress levels lowered.
More information: L.E. Crawford et al. Enriched Environment Exposure Accelerates Rodent Driving Skills, Behavioural Brain Research (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112309 , www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0166432819311763Journal information:Behavioural Brain Research
I can personally speak to how smart rodents are because my 12 year old neighbor boy, Jace, convinced me to get him a mouse that he could come visit. He was named “Nibbles”. He was a very cute white mouse. We saved Nibbles from a fate of becoming a meal for someone’s pet snake.
Nibbles was allowed to freely roam. He liked to come sit on the top of his home and sit and look at me sitting about 3 feet away. I talked to him quite a bit and the tilt of his head revealed that he was listening and trying to understand. Sometimes I would get inches away and watch his reaction to my voice.
Eventually, he ventured farther from his home base to move to the chair next to his home. That chair touched the one I sat in and he’d work his way over and sit on my lap. He liked to snuggle between my arm and body for the warmth.
My two cats, Bandit and Lulu were curious about Nibbles. Their curiosity resulted in a nipped nose if they got too close to Nibbles. No blood, just claiming territory. Lulu, a hunter who regularly brought birds home, allowed him his space.
It is amazing how big Nibbles personality became from the freedom he experienced. So I have no doubt that learning to drive a miniature car is possible for rodents, given the right stimulus.
It reminds me of an experiment that was carried out by a U.S. University. Rats were trained to run a maze. At the end was two doors. One opened to a reward and the other was locked shut. To start, scientists set the left door to open. The rats went through the maze and jumped up to one of the doors. If they chose the wrong one they would try the left one and receive their reward. Thereafter they always used the left door to get their reward.
The scientists switched doors to see how the rats would react. The rats finished the maze and received a sore nose for their efforts. Eventually, they tried the door to the right and received their reward. Thereafter they change their behavior to jump through the door on the right.
Next the scientists decided to randomly change which door to open. The rats went through the maze but due to the inconsistency between pain and reward, eventually the rats gave up and would not try to receive their reward at all. They just sat…immobilized.
This is an important study for businesses. If the reward for employees is constantly changing, their employees will lose motivation and stop working. Consistency is important. Rewarding employees consistently and fairly is a big step toward your companies success.
Still, I’d really like to see mice driving around in cars. Wonder if there is video somewhere? How long before they can build SharePoint solutions?