Fish may not need a bicycle, but they seem to like cars.
In a very strange new video, a goldfish drives a water-filled electric “car” from one end of the room to the other, rocking to avoid obstacles along the way. Scientists have conducted strange experiments to better understand how goldfish navigate the terrestrial environment.
In the wild, goldfish and many other species need to navigate to find food and shelter to survive.But how these animals learn to navigate space, and in the case of fish, brain networks that allow them to navigate.
Coral reef It will be useful for anything on land.
What is a better way to explore animal navigation in a foreign environment than literally taking fish out of the water?
Shachar Givon, a PhD student at the University of Negev Ben Gurion in Israel, said: A submarine, or fish-operated vehicle (FOV), was essentially a plastic aquarium mounted on a small platform with wheels. One goldfish in the aquarium can steer a vehicle just by swimming.
Getting a goldfish to drive such a car is surprisingly not new. In 2014, a group called Studiodiip did a similar development.
Goldfish mobile But at the time, it was a software demonstration rather than a basic animal behavior study.
However, Gibbon of Ben Gurion University of Negev Matane Samina and her colleagues Ohad Benshahar and Ronensegev have shown that fish cars are more than fun novelties. They just had to feed the fish to go somewhere.
In this study, six goldfish were trained to steer the FOV. “Training was the easiest part,” said Givon. “I just put it in a situation where I learn what’s happening around me.”
At first, the movement of each fish was unstable as they swam from one side to the other in the roving reservoir. Eventually, Gibbon said the fish began to connect the dots, and their movements became gentler and more cautious.
“The first time you get in a car without telling anyone, they will find that what they do with the steering wheel is related to the direction of the car,” Gibbon told Live Science. “The same is true for fish. This happens slowly, but it all happens on its own.”
Getting the fish to move the vehicle is one thing. Knowing if it can understand the environment around the vehicle is a completely different matter.
Initially, the exam was simple. The vehicle departed from the center of the room, and Givon and her colleagues placed a pink cardboard square on the floor away from the vehicle. If the vehicle moved across this pink square, the fish received a treat.
A few days later, the fish car changed from meandering around the room to hitting the target directly with darts. When this task became trivial for the fish, Givon placed obstacles and fake targets in the arena to adapt the fish to changes in the environment. After getting used to these additional features, the fish were hardly surprised by the obstacles.
According to Gibbon, this study suggests that goldfish can learn to navigate not only certain environments, such as coral reefs, but also completely unfamiliar environments.
In the future, Givon wants to explore ways to learn how to navigate longer routes in situations where the fish are less devised. “We want the fish to go out and navigate the natural human environment,” Gibbon said. This may allow researchers to observe how fish make decisions in a more dynamic and unfamiliar environment.
“We are looking forward to the fish [cars] Crawling all over the campus. ”
This study was published online in the journal on January 4th.
Behavioral brain research ..
Originally published on Live Science.