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How Do You Teach a Goldfish to Drive? First, You Need a Vehicle

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A goldfish appearing to drive a tiny car.

Explained Ohad Ben-Shahar of Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "Fish don't drive cars. So we had to train them to understand what we wanted them to do. So eventually they need to make navigational decisions."

Credit: Canva

Researchers are teaching animals how to drive, in order to understand how experience affects learning and how brains adapt to change.

Researchers at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found that goldfish possessed the mental acuity to direct a water-tank-equipped robotic vehicle toward a target.

Ben-Gurion's Ronen Segev said the goal was to show that animal brains are different from, not inferior to, human brains, and are flexible enough to adapt to new situations.

Segev put a goldfish in a tank aboard a robot outfitted with computer vision software that tracked the fish’s movements so that when the fish moved, the robot moved in the same direction.

The fish navigated the robotic vehicle to the correct location even when the target was moved or decoys were used to try to trick them.

From The Wall Street Journal
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