UR researchers using ‘famous’ driving rats to learn more about the brain

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Rats are driving? While it may look like something out of a science fiction movie, it’s actually a part of ongoing research at the University of Richmond.

Researchers at the university are trying to figure out how learning new tasks, like driving, can affect the brain.

“We’re basically, like, making it more and more difficult to make them earn their Fruit Loop until the end when they have to do the entire behavior,” researcher Laura Knouse said.

The study showed the rats housed in what researchers call “a complex environment” successfully learned how to drive, compared to those kept in standard lab cages. Researchers say the findings can say a lot about the human brain.

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