Mice also like to take selfies

(CNN) — When two rats began taking photographs of themselves with a camera mounted in their cage, artist Augustin Lignier said he felt “extremely powerful”.

As part of his graduate studies, in 2021, Lignier bought two rats from a pet store in France, where he lives, and built an elaborate cage for them, he told CNN. Using a system that gives rodents sugar every time they press a button, they trained them to take photos of themselves and, in the process, develop perceptions of pleasure and reward and the addictive behaviors induced by social media. Prepared a comment on.

Rat self-portraits, which resemble funny photos and videos of other animals found on social media, “are a good way to get attention,” Lignier says, adding that they explore topics like short attention spans. provide a “playful” approach. The impact of social media algorithms.

The rats were trained to press a button that activated a camera installed in their cage.  (Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

Rats were trained to press a button that activated a camera in their cage.
(Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

He added, “When you have that kind of power, (even) when it’s just two little mice and (not) billions of people, you feel like you can manipulate everything.” Are.” “And it’s a very strange feeling.”

Lignier based the design of his cage on the “Skinner box”, a device invented by American psychologist B.F. Skinner to study animal behavior. The artist said he was inspired by scientific experiments training animals to complete complex tasks developed by Skinner during the 1950s.

Lignier built this cage-photographic studio for two rats.  (Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

Lignier built this cage-photographic studio for two rats.
(Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

When two rats — whom Lignier named Augustin and Arthur after his brother and himself — began to explore their new environment, they accidentally touched a button that gave them sugar, Lignier explained. Then, over the course of a week, they began to associate the positive effect of pressing the button with sugar.

Once they understood, Lignier moved them to a normal cage – with the intention of making the animals forget about the sugar – before returning them to the original cage. But this time, sugar did not come out of the button every time it was pressed.

Instead, the release of sugar was random, but because the rat’s brain “associates sugar with pleasure and sugar with the button … they touch it,” Lignier said, adding that the rats sometimes wanted to get the sugar. Let’s press the button for. More than once a minute.

Later the mice went to live with Lignier's mother.  (Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

Later the mice went to live with Lignier’s mother.
(Credit: ECAL/Augustin Lignier)

Their actions triggered a series of selfies, some of which appeared to be taken against a clean white background. others had more head shotA technique used to show faces in close-up.

According to Lignier, offering random rewards in exchange for taking selfies reflects a strategy used by social media companies and dating apps to keep users coming back.

“Every time (rats) press the button, their brain receives dopamine and registers the exact moment they touch it,” explains Lignier. “It fascinated me.”

After spending a few days taking selfies, the mice went to live with Lignier’s mother in Arles, in the south of France, until they died and were buried in their backyard.


Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Petro says Maria Corina Machado’s disqualification an “undemocratic coup”

(CNN Spanish) — Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro spoke this Monday about the electoral process in ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *