Posted August 5th, 2013
Robots are terrifying--at least, fish think so. In a new set of experiments, researchers have discovered that fish robots can elicit fear in zebrafish and that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. The findings could allow researchers to better understand anxiety and other emotions in addition to the substances that alter them.
Although attempting to scare drunk zebrafish with robots may seem like it wouldn't lead to any interesting findings, the researchers were able to learn quite a bit. The scientists first created a robot that mimicked the appearance and movements of the Indian leaf fish, the natural predator of the zebrafish.