Israeli scientists teach goldfish to drive a car on land, how to do it?


Of the various experiments conducted by scientists, this one is unique. Fish that actually swim, are taught how to drive a car on land. How to?

Seen in the video recording the experiment, an aquarium on wheels moving to and fro. The aquarium contained a goldfish, and apparently the fish was driving the motorized "car".

Quoted from Live Science, scientists carried out this strange experiment to better understand how goldfish navigate a terrestrial environment.

In the wild, goldfish and many other species must navigate to find food or shelter to survive. But it's not clear how these animals learned to navigate a space. And for fish, whether or not the brain tissue that allows them to navigate coral reefs will be useful on land remains a mystery.

What better way to explore animal navigation in an unfamiliar environment than actually getting the fish out of the water?

"Because fish are notoriously incapable of surviving out of water, we had to build this inverted submarine," said Shachar Givon, a doctoral student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

A submarine, or fish operated vehicle (FOV), is basically a plastic aquarium mounted on a small platform with wheels. A goldfish in an aquarium can drive a vehicle just by swimming.

In the study, six goldfish were trained to become FOV pilots. "Training is the easiest part. I just put him in a situation where he learns what's going on around him," Givon said.

Initially, each fish's movement was erratic as it swam from side to side in its circumferential reservoir. Eventually, Givon said, the fish began to connect the dots, and their movements became more calm and deliberate.

"If you put someone in a car for the first time without telling them anything about it, they will realize that what they do with the steering wheel matters with the direction the car is going. The same goes for fish. slowly, Givon explained.

Getting fish to move vehicles is one thing. Learning whether fish can understand the environment around vehicles is another matter entirely.

According to Givon, this research shows that goldfish can learn to navigate completely unfamiliar environments, not just specific environments, such as coral reefs.

In the future, Givon would like to explore how fish learn to navigate longer routes in less complicated situations.

"We wanted fish to get out and navigate the natural environment of humans. This could potentially allow researchers to observe how fish can make decisions in more dynamic alien environments."

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