What if the goldfish were able to drive?

Often mocked for its memory, the goldfish will have many other unsuspected abilities. An Israeli study (source 1) reveals one of them. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have found that innate navigation abilities of a goldfish allowed him to … steer a vehicle to a target if he received a food reward.

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To reach this conclusion, the scientists placed the fish bowl on a device with motorized wheels. “A camera system then recorded the movements of the fish in the water and translated it into navigation directions, effectively moving the craft in the direction the fish hit the glass,” the study explains. A video, released by the University, shows the fish directing the vehicle towards a colorful mark placed on the room’s wall. An aptitude acquired after a few days of training.

Good … and bad drivers

“Surprisingly, it doesn’t take long for the fish to learn to operate the vehicle. They are confused at first. They don’t know what’s going on, but they very quickly realize that there is a correlation between their movement and movement. of the machine they’re in, ”said researcher Shachar Givon. As a sign of congratulations, the goldfish received a food reward. These findings were published in the journal Behavorial Brain Research.

Six goldfish took part in this study and received ten “driving lessons”. As in humans, some fish have better handling skills: “There were some very good fish which did very well and there were mediocre fish which showed control of the vehicle but were less proficient in driving it” , explained professor of biology and neuroscientist Ronen Segev. A new discovery that may allow scientists to broaden their skills on animals.

In video: It’s in the news: a goldfish driving a car?

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