Science: Robot Rat

In Seattle last week Dr. Stevenson Smith, University of Washington psychology professor, delighted colleagues and students by showing them a complicated "mechanical rat" which he and a helper had worked five years to perfect. Living rats, especially white ones, are favorites with animal psychologists who teach them to traverse complex mazes bristling with blind alleys, studying the effect on maze-learning of food, light, electric shock, drugs, blasts of air.

The Stevenson rat is impervious to all such lures and hindrances. Resembling a three-wheeled roller skate loaded with small motors, electromagnets and switches, the...

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