23 October 2008

Rats playing basketball

Apparently some Finnish scientists have nothing better to do than teach lab rats how to play basketball. The process begins at birth and is fairly interesting.

By way of ESPN's Truehoop blog:
First, the rat kitten is taught to grab the ball and to find it on the court. The next phase involves coaxing the rat to travel with the ball in its mouth. At first, the distances are only a few steps in length, but slowly they increase. The rat is guided by hand to travel to a particular end of the court, because each rat must learn to recognise their own hoop. The basketball rat teams are established by teaching half of the rats to put the ball in the basket on the right side and half on the left side of the court. How does the rat learn to score? Scoring a basket is not taught to the rat kittens until the very end of their training period. To start, a platform is used to enable the rat to simply drop the ball down through the hoop. Gradually the platform is lowered and the rat learns to lift the ball up and into the basket. Finally, the rat kitten begins to be ready for an actual game with another rat.
Here's a short clip of the rodents in action.

I think I might be willing to pay to watch this.


Brooke said...

Wow. Who even knew it was possible? But of course, and thank goodness for youtube so we wouldn't miss out. :)

Jimmy said...

From the title I thought this would be another article about the Lakers.


Seth said...

Hehe. That's pretty awesome. Just think, soon there'll be an RBA, Rats Basketball Association.

Nick said...

Haha yeah I agree with Seth. I would go to the games to. that would be awesome

Becca said...

This looks more interesting than normal basketball! :B