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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻心理系列篇:老鼠触须激发出的灵感

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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很明显,飓风桑迪袭击纽约地下铁隧道之后,大多数老鼠都幸存了下来,并没有出现预期的老鼠启示录般的景象。老鼠是游泳健将,它们也能很好地利用胡须的导航功能。在侦查环
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Apparently most rats survived hurricane Sandy's wrath on New York City's subway tunnels, averting the anticipated Ratpocalypse. Rats are good swimmers, and they're also really good at navigating with their whiskers, which flick eight times per second as they survey the environment.
很明显,飓风桑迪袭击纽约地下铁隧道之后,大多数老鼠都幸存了下来,并没有出现预期的老鼠启示录般的景象。老鼠是游泳健将,它们也能很好地利用胡须的导航功能。在侦查环境的时候,它们的胡须每秒会轻摇8次。

Could humans learn to take advantage of this sort of sensory input? To find out, researchers attached a plastic 30 cm-long “whisker” with sensors to the index fingers of blindfolded subjects. And then placed two poles just off to the side and in front of the subject, with one pole slightly closer to the subject.
人类可以学着利用这种知觉输入吗?为了找到答案,研究人员在被蒙上双眼的受试者食指上连上一根长30厘米的带有传感器的塑料胡须。然后分别在受试者的侧面和前面放两个电极,其中一个稍微近一些。

Using their whiskers, subjects had to judge which pole was further away. By moving their hands together across the front of them they could feel which hand's whisker touched a pole first, and so they determined which pole was closer to them.
受试者必须利用传感器判断哪边的电极更远。通过一起移动双手,他们能感觉到哪只手上的胡须首先感觉到电极,这样他们就能确定哪根柱子离得更近。

During the first testing day subjects could accurately determine a position difference of 8 cm. By the next day of testing they improved to detect a difference of just 3 cm, with some subjects able to detect a 1 cm difference.
在实验的第一天,受试者可以精确地定位距离相差为8cm的电极。在实验第二天,他们取得了进步,能探测出距离相差为3cm的电极,甚至有受试者能够探测出距离相差为1cm的电极。

Of course, blind people already use canes to survey their environment. The hand-whisker technique could fine-tune such efforts.
当然,盲人已经在使用手杖探测周围的环境。但这种知觉输入科技能进一步改善盲人的处境。

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