Imagine rats moving around the streets of new york in their own tiny cars.
Scientists have worked with lab rats, teaching them to steer and drive custom made cars.
The rats learned to do this through both trial and error and rewarding the rats with food. The cars were made out of tiny plastic food containers and different copper parts and wheels. The rats gripped two copper bars that acted as the steering device and were able to eventually make different turns.
The rats found ways to problem solve, developing their own steering techniques when tasked with finding a specific point. They would try and find this specific point in order to be rewarded with a piece of cereal. Videos of the rats accomplishing these tasks were released and the rats were able to make some pretty good turns and maneuvers.
Teaching the rats to drive may have also reduced their overall stress levels. Two hormones found in rat droppings seemed to indicate this. Most people may assume that rats aren’t very intelligent creatures, this research may indicate that rats are much smarter than people perceive them to be.