[Ed. – And this is why we freaking love science. Video at link.]
But the real discovery in the study — and its wider implications for human mental health treatment — was found in their poop, per new findings published in Behavioural Brain Research.
One bunch [was] raised in an “enriched environment” with toys, ladders, balls and pieces of wood designed to spark mental stimulation, and another reared in a standard, unexciting lab cage.
The rats learned to enter a custom “rat-operated vehicle,” or ROV, adorably constructed from a one-gallon plastic container turned on its side.
Once inside, the rat racers would stand on an aluminum plate and press on a copper bar that would trigger the wheels’ motor. They’d hold down on the bar until they propelled their tiny car to the end of their enclosure, where they collected their reward: Froot Loops.