Rats are amazing, and in this article, we are going to tell you why. Their brains are agile, the thing that makes them useful for different studies. In tine, they can be trained to do activities that humans do, such as pressing buttons and solving problems – they can also find their way in a maze.
This week, some rats were taught to do yet another thing that humans do – drive. Well, they are sort of driving.
It’s quite fascinating how a rat can learn how to drive, but what scientists discovered after beats them all. Hormones showed that these rats had lower stress levels than those who didn’t drive. This can also explain the impact it has on humans and our mental health.
A rat is the best model for the human brain because it has the same areas and the same neurochemicals as the human brain does, but they are smaller. This comes from Kelly Lambert. Professor of behavioral neuroscience, who’s the author of the study. Even though humans are more complex than rats, they are looking for universal truths when it comes to how brains connect with the environment in order to maintain optimal mental health conditions.
Their “cars” were made out of empty food containers. Scientists from the University of Richmond in Virginia trained 11 male rats and six female rats to navigate the little “cars.” These cars were made out of aluminum for floors, and three copper bars for a steering wheel. The rats had to put their paws on the steering wheel so that an electric circuit could power the car, which then moved in different directions. The rats were rewarded with Froot Loops when they managed to drive the “car” forward.