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培訓鼠類學習開車——能學到啥?

wzyxm 于2019-11-19發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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研究表明,開車作為一種活動可以幫助鼠類放松。項研究可能為患有精神疾病的人開辟非藥物治療的新領域。
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广东36选7好彩3开奖奖金多少 www.oabxa.com Scientists Trained Rats to Drive Cars. What Did They Learn?

培訓鼠類學習開車——能學到啥?

Mice and rats have long been used in medical research because of their biological similarities to humans.

長期以來,人們一直將鼠類用于醫學研究,因為鼠類在生理上跟人類很相似。

The tiny animals have already shown an ability to recognize objects, push buttons and find their way through complex paths.

鼠類雖然小,但他們已經展現出識別物體的能力了,他們還能推動按鈕并在復雜的路徑中穿梭來尋找自己的方向。

Now, scientists have trained rats to drive small vehicles created for them. One of the main findings of the experiment was that the driving activity seemed to help the rats relax.

現在,科學家培訓了一些鼠類來駕駛為它們創建的小車。此次實驗的一項主要發現是:開車作為一種活動可以幫助鼠類放松。

Researchers at the University of Richmond in Virginia led the experiment. Their findings were published in Behavioural Brain Research.

弗吉尼亞州里士滿大學的科學家牽頭做了這項實驗。他們的發現成果發布在了《大腦行為研究》上。

The team built tiny cars out of plastic and other materials. The vehicles had an opening at one end where electrical wires were attached. By touching one of three different wires, the rat could steer the car in different directions - left, center and right.

該團隊用塑料等材料打造了一些小車。這些小車的一端是有開口的,開口這端附了電線。通過觸碰3根電線中的某一條,鼠類就能主導小車開往不同的方向——左側、中間、右側。

Sweet treats were placed inside the experiment containers in an attempt to get the rats to drive the vehicle to get to the food.

甜美的糖果放在了幾個實驗容器里,目的是吸引鼠類通過駕車來獲得食物。

Researchers trained 17 rats over several months to drive around the containers. The animals proved that they could be trained to drive forward as well as in other directions to get to the treats.

在長達數月的時間里,研究人員培訓17只小鼠如何在容器附近開車。小鼠的表現表明,小鼠可以通過培訓來學會向前方或者其他方向開車來獲得獎勵。

Kelly Lambert of the University of Richmond helped lead the experiment. She told the French news agency AFP the research suggests that rat brains may be more complex and flexible than once thought.

里士滿大學的凱麗·蘭伯特助力牽頭了這項實驗。她在接受法新社采訪時表示,該研究表明,鼠類的大腦可能比我們之前想的要更復雜、更靈活。

Lambert said she had long been interested in neuroplasticity, or the way the brain changes to react to different experiences and difficulties. She found that rats kept in what she calls "enriched environments" performed far better than those in labs. While she expected that result, Lambert told AFP "it was actually quite shocking to me that they were so much better."

蘭伯特表示,她一直對神經可塑性——即大腦對不同的經歷和困難做出反應的方式很感興趣。她發現,被她稱為“充實環境”下的老鼠的表現遠遠好于實驗室的老鼠。蘭伯特告訴法新社記者,盡管她預料到會有這樣的結果,但“它們的成績好這么多,還是讓我很震驚。”

The researchers examined levels of two hormones in the rats - one that causes stress and another that counters it. All rats that took part in the training had higher levels of the hormone that reduces stress. The research suggests the increased relaxation levels could be linked to the enjoyment of successfully completing a new skill.

研究人員檢測了老鼠體內兩種激素的水平——一種激素會引起壓力,另一種激素會對抗壓力。所有參加訓練的老鼠(體內)所含有的減壓方面的荷爾蒙水平都更高。研究表明,放松程度(減壓程度)的增強可能與成功完成一項新技能所帶來的愉悅感有關。

The team also found that the rats that drove themselves showed higher levels of the stress-fighting hormone than those that simply rode in small cars controlled by humans.

研究小組還發現,自己開車的老鼠體內的抗壓激素水平要高于那些僅僅乘坐由人類控制的小車的老鼠。

Lambert said the most exciting result of the experiment for her was about the possible effect on humans. The research may open new areas of non-drug treatments for people suffering from mental health conditions.

蘭伯特說,對她來說,這個實驗最令人興奮的結果是它可能對人類產生的影響。這項研究可能為患有精神疾病的人開辟非藥物治療的新領域。

There's no cure for schizophrenia or depression and we need to catch up, she said. "And I think we need to look at different animal models and different types of tasks and really respect that behavior can change our neurochemistry."

“精神分裂癥和抑郁癥沒有治愈的方法,我們需要迎頭趕上,”她說。“我認為我們需要研究不同的動物模型和不同類型的任務,并真正尊重這種行為可以改變我們的神經化學。”

Speaking to the British-based magazine New Scientist, Lambert said her team is planning to continue experiments to learn more about how the rats learned to drive. The new research will also examine why some activities appear to reduce stress, and which areas of the brain are involved in the process.

在接受英國雜志《新科學家》采訪時,蘭伯特表示,她的團隊計劃繼續實驗,以了解更多關于老鼠如何學會開車的信息。這項新研究還將研究為什么某些活動似乎能減輕壓力,以及大腦的哪些區域參與了這一過程。

As an example, Lambert said new driving tests could be created to test the effects of Parkinson's disease on motor skills and awareness of space. "If we use more realistic and challenging models, it may provide more meaningful data," she told New Scientist.

蘭伯特說了一個例子——發起駕車的新實驗是為了測試帕金森這種病對動作技能以及空間意識的影響。如果我們使用更逼真、更具挑戰性的模型,或許就能提供更有意義的數據,她在接受《新科學家》采訪時如是說道。

I'm Bryan Lynn.

布萊恩·林恩為您播報。

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