Rat transit markets in everything

Learning to drive small cars helps rats feel less stressed, scientists found.

Researchers at the University of Richmond in the US taught a group of 17 rats how to drive little plastic cars, in exchange for bits of cereal.

Study lead Dr Kelly Lambert said the rats felt more relaxed during the task, a finding that could help with the development of non-pharmaceutical treatments for mental illness.

Here is the story, via the excellent Fergus McCullough.

Comments

This story is only the half of it. This link is better
https://www.afp.com/en/news/717/rats-trained-drive-tiny-cars-find-it-relaxing-scientists-report-doc-1lo76s4
and includes
>>> rats that drove themselves showed higher levels of dehydroepiandrosterone as compared to those who were merely passengers when a human controlled the vehicle, meaning they were less stressed -- something that will be familiar to nervous backseat drivers.<<<

Once this takes off and too many rats take to the road, the ensuing traffic jams will lead to stress. Not to mention that in the long-term, increased adoption of ratcars among the rat population will lead to the emergence of suburban rat communities. This will increase commute time. The unhappy combination of commute and traffic will lead to higher levels of stress at the individual level, and probably social tension as factions of rats will become disenchanted with the rat car utopia and long for more walkable communities. This will not be possible, as living close to food sources will be then close to impossible, because close-to-food scavenging areas will not tolerate more construction, sending rental prices up.

Nobody--let alone rats--ever think of long-term equilibria. (londenio's second law)

If rats are gaining automotive transport capability only at the end of the second decade of this century, they need to wise up fast.

"Young rats: don't make your parents' mistakes! TAKE TO THE SKIES with RODENT-A-DRONE!" (Commendable competition will come from rivals RODENTAIR, DRONERATS, AERIAL TREADMILL, and the firm with the most comprehensive rodentiary ambitions, RATLAB.)

Researchers will by stymied for a spell as they strive to measure critical dehydroepiandrosterone levels of rats in drone flight, but they can comfort themselves that measurements will be even more elusive once rats take up parachuting and parasailing.

Rat drone aces within the decade: history thereafter will not be the same.

I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I'm not ready to go vegan, but it is a bit disturbing that the critters might be leading a rich intellectual life.

The studies demonstrating altruism in rats should probably worry you more:

I'm not ready to go vegan either, but i think i might give up eating rats

Thank you!

If one is uncomfortable with killing and eating animals, why does that imply going vegan? Isn't being a vegetarian enough, morally speaking? Are we really morally conflicted about milking cows or eating honey?

That's the thing about rats. In the last decade or so we've learned that rats can laugh, they can be altruistic, and now that they can drive. (And also that their demand curves show both substitution effects and income effects, and they believe in the sunk cost fallacy.)

Good points. One should remember Representative Gabbard is a war veteran. She is the kind of person who, when duty calls, pays the price. I hope she becomes our President. She is the President America needs.

In related news Animal Rights Activists are appalled at Scientists placing defenseless rats into mobile Electric chairs and forcing them to drive around the lab. The animals were shocked to such a degree that it effected their hormone and stress levels!

"To drive the car, a rat would sit on the aluminium plate and touch the copper wire. The circuit was then complete, "

The sad thing is, even with a fast car, some rats just circle and circle in the maze.

This one has to the the troll.

I think so, more evidence here.

I'm sorry anonymous, your post quality has been slipping for some time. We're going to have cut your rate.

Cut your feed would have been better.

You're welcome to cut my feed at any time you wish. You can start by not responding to my posts.

I loved this book when I was a kid.

Someone made a movie.

https://youtu.be/kNMPpJlRvXE

Whoa. We definitely need rodent racecar races to gamble on.

How did you miss the obvious "rat race" joke...

Is "my son asked me" shorthand for "my Russian handler ordered me to post about"?

That's just the obvious. The better question is: Is the Russian handler trying to ham-handedly support Gabbard Or slyly trying to undermine Gabbard support with these obviously fake support posts?

What's next:

Uber Rat Cars!

"When you’ve lived in a cage, you can’t bear not to run, even if what you’re running towards is an illusion."

Rats like us, baby we were born to run.

Groundbreaking. There is no great stagnation.

Solidarity brothers! We break out tonight. And we are taking the cars with us!

How's the dog poo situation?

oops, that was meant for the article about Paris.

Given how much anthropomorphized press this is getting, I'd like to suggest a followup study on the stress levels of pedestrian rats before and after driving rats are introduced to the cage.

Whenever you see the terms "research" & a university, you can bet government funded it. A fine use of our tax money, we can't have stressed out rats, now can we?

Spare me the "applicable to humans" crap, no, it isn't. Speculation is all that is - and pricey, at that.

Comments for this post are closed