每日英语听力

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2020 Text 1(英语二)

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Rats and other animals need to be highly attuned to social signals from others so they can identify friends to cooperate with and enemies to avoid.

To find out if this extends to non-living beings, Loleh Quinn at the University of California, San Diego, and her colleagues tested whether rats can detect social signals from robotic rats.

They housed eight adult rats with two types of robotic ratone social and one asocialfor four days.

The robots rats were quite minimalist, resembling a chunkier version of a computer mouse with wheels to move around and colorful markings.

During the experiment, the social robot rat followed the living rats around, played with the same toys, and opened caged doors to let trapped rats escape.

Meanwhile, the asocial robot simply moved forwards and backwards and side to side.

Next, the researchers trapped the robots in cages and gave the rats the opportunity to release them by pressing a lever.

Across 18 trials each, the living rats were 52 percent more likely on average to set the social robot free than the asocial one.

This suggests that the rats perceived the social robot as a genuine social being.

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