Robotic rat terrorizes rats into depression

PopSci: "In order to create a workable model of a human mental disorder like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, rats are often genetically manipulated or have their nerve system surgically altered. Sometimes they are forced to swim for long periods of time. Now, researchers at Waseda University in Tokyo have created a new method: Let a robotic rat terrorize the rats into depression."

(Via Neatorama)


  1. “Researchers set WR-3 loose on two groups of 12 young rats once a day for five days in continuous attack mode. A few weeks later when the rats had matured, their movements were studied in an open field and while the robot chased it. Then, rats in group A were re-exposed to continuous attacks, while group B was exposed to the interactive attack.
    The intermittent, interactive form of attack proved to be the most stressful. It was most effective in creating a deep depression in a mature rat that had been harassed during development. ”

    So, send somebody to middle and high school, and then out into the world and you replicate the most-effective procedure for producing depression in rat models.

    Thankfully animal testing is totally unrelated to humans!

  2. So not moving = depression????

    Being forced to sit still in order to avoid a robot attack … and then subjected to anti-depression medication. Sounds like a creative version of Hell.

  3. I bet the US Military/CIA’s torture guys would love a few of these. Similar to tactics they already use… but more convenient!

    1. In order to make the planet better, we must make it a sadistically horrible place, put the fucking white lab coat on and leave your conscience and emotions at the door.  This is the kind of research that leads to billions in profits for Big Pharma.
      Meanwhile, official research in the incredibly promising area of psychedelics as a cure for depression, anxiety and schizophrenia is almost nonexistent.

      What’s not to be depressed about when one feels ashamed of the human species?

  4. So being constantly bullied and terrorized by a machine that never tires causes depression? Doesn’t this describe working for every corporation in America?

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