Rat navigation guided by remote control
From the scientific journal "Nature"
May 2, 2002
SANJIV K. TALWAR*, SHAOHUA XU*, EMERSON S. HAWLEY*, SHENNAN A. WEISS*, KAREN A. MOXON† & JOHN K. CHAPIN*
* Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, State University of New York,
Downstate Medical Centre, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11203, USA
† School of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
Procedures used to train laboratory animals often incorporate operant learning paradigms in which the animals are taught to produce particular responses to external cues (such as aural tones) in order to obtain rewards (such as food). Here we show that by removing the physical contraints associated with the delivery of cues and rewards, learning paradigms based on brain microstimulation enable conditioning approaches to be used that help to transcend traditional boundaries in animal learning. We have used this paradigm to develop a behavioural model in which an experimenter can guide distant animals in a way similar to that used to control 'intelligent' robots.