Real live mouse navigates Quake 2

Scientists strap mouse to trackball-like contraption to study its neurons. The first virtual maze? Derived from a Quake 2 level.

Neuroscientists at Princeton University created a new way to study the neurons of the classic mouse-in-a-maze: strap it to a suspended ball and have it run through a virtual maze. That first virtual maze? Derived from a Quake 2 level.

Apparently it's difficult to control and study the neurons of a mouse when it's physically moving, and this method makes that easier. The ball is suspended on a jet of air, and the mouse is strapped in place with a collar on top of it (like a giant trackball, sort of) while running on a spherical treadmill.

Given that I don't understand psychology at all, or even totally know what a neuron is, I'm going to go ahead and assume this is an elaborate ruse to get a mouse to play Quake 2. The researchers detail their findings in the latest issue of the journal Nature. Well played, scientists.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Last minute back to school shopping?

Whether you're looking for headphones to study with or music-streaming gear, CNET rounds up a shopping guide just for you.