Are these the world's smartest mice?

Using only positive reinforcement, a trainer has taught her mice tricks you have to see to believe.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Using only positive reinforcement, a trainer has taught her mice tricks you have to see to believe.

We all know that mice are smart, that they learn quickly and can solve problems that seem quite complex — but here's a demonstration of their intelligence that might change the way you think of these cute little rodents.

Playing fetch. Slam-dunking a mouse-sized basketball. Putting a ring on a finger. Even riding a skateboard. These are just a few tricks an Austrian YouTube user going by the name of MouseAgility has taught her pint-sized pets.

She uses only positive reinforcement: "clicker" training (using a device to make a clicking sound whenever the mouse does something good — in MouseAgility's case, a pen, because dedicated training clickers can be too loud for sensitive mouse ears), while giving a treat or petting the mouse at the same time. Depending on the complexity of the trick, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks for a mouse to learn.

Want to learn how to train your own mice? MouseAgility gives tutorials, tips and advice on her website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.

But first, look at these adorable little guys go:

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Sci-Tech
About the author

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

 

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