Kicker: Rat race

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Well, this one gives new meaning to the phrase “the rat race.” 

Scientists at the University of Richmond taught rats how to drive. (And I’m talking about the rodent kind of rats, not the ones who won’t let you merge …) 

Scientists made a teensy Ratmobile out of a plastic jug with aluminum floors. 

When they managed to move the car forward, the critters got a reward of Froot Loops. That was enough to keep them motivated to learn more new ways to navigate the little rat car! 

Here’s what the scientists found: learning something new and challenging brings stress levels down.  

Bottom line? Mastering a difficult task and learning a new skill brings satisfaction. 

So it all goes to show that old rats really can and should learn new tricks. And that applies to us, too!

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Photo/University of Richmond)

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