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Scientists train goldfish to drive a 'car' around a room

By T.K. Randall
January 5, 2022 · Comment icon 12 comments

It's just a fish driving along the road in its tank... nothing to see here. Image Credit: Twitter / Ronen Segev
The experiment used a specially created fish tank that could be steered around independently by the fish.
Developed by a group of scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, the bizarre 'car' (or 'fish operated vehicle') is essentially a tank of water on wheels that the fish can 'drive' around on land.

By teaching six goldfish to use the vehicle, the researchers noted that they had demonstrated the capacity for a fish to transfer its navigational skills from a marine environment to a terrestrial one.

According to the study, the fish "were able to operate the vehicle, explore the new environment, and reach the target, regardless of the starting point, all while avoiding dead-ends and correcting location inaccuracies."

The experiment mirrored previous efforts to assess the navigational skills of other animals.
"The way space is represented in the fish brain and the strategies it uses may be as successful in a terrestrial environment as they are in an aquatic one," the researchers wrote.

"This hints at universality in the way space is represented across environments."

To 'drive' the tank, the fish simply had to swim in a particular direction.

Over time, some of them went from taking 30 minutes to find the target to just under a minute.

Source: Times of Israel | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by aztek 2 years ago
They already use dolphins for that.
Comment icon #4 Posted by XenoFish 2 years ago
Soon the land dwellers will know our wrath.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Abramelin 2 years ago
Nothing better to do during lock-down?
Comment icon #6 Posted by NCC1701 2 years ago
Does that fish have a driving licence?
Comment icon #7 Posted by trevor borocz johnson 2 years ago
goldfish crossing signs would be too much for me, but if I saw a goldfish bowl driving a go kart across the street I would still swerve and honk and yell 'hey man! get it together!'
Comment icon #8 Posted by trevor borocz johnson 2 years ago
What did the goldfish say who crossed the road? "Move! heheh Move you idiots!"
Comment icon #9 Posted by Torviking 2 years ago
Andy they got research money for this garbage? Words fail me.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Desertrat56 2 years ago
It probably leads to something more useful, like finding ways for paraplegics to safely drive a car.   
Comment icon #11 Posted by Torviking 2 years ago
K. I understand what you are saying, but I will reserve my opinion until this can be proved to have done good for humanity.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Desertrat56 2 years ago
It makes me laugh thinking people might buy cars like this and train their goldfish to drive them.  My kids have never had a goldfish last more than a week. 

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