Week 9: Shenanigans

May 17, 2021

Hi guys! This week we began training the rats that were a part of the endocannabinoid experiments. The training is called lever autoshaping, and it’s about teaching the rat to associate a reward with pressing the lever. Before we can introduce a new variable, the drug, into the experiment it is important that the rats first learn this association. 

To begin we go up to the animal colony and weigh the rats. This number determines how much food each rat gets because they have to stay in a specific weight range. Once we place the food pellets into the cages, we take the rats to the behavior boxes to begin their learning process.

After doing this, I helped sort through the huge data file that the behavior boxes produced. To give you an idea there are 14 rats and each rat undergoes 10 trials! From this data we see which rats are sign trackers and which are goal trackers. We predict the behavior of each rat and see if the results of the next experiment match up.

Next week, I will be running something called devalue day. It’s a long process but very interesting and I can’t wait to tell you guys more about it next week!

One Reply to “Week 9: Shenanigans”

  1. Eric M. says:

    What’s this shenanigans?! But neat experiment that’s shaping up

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