Rat Basketball @ COSI

by admin in


If you are a Behavior Analyst, like me, and you hear "Rat Basketball" at 11am you most likely run not walk, to the venue. Heck, you probably set your timer, just to be sure. You KNOW what this is about. You hear the word "rat" and you automatically associate "Skinner." You might even have a "private event" and wonder why didn't I act on that idea! Rats playing basketball can be seen at COSI in Columbus, OH. When asked, the researcher informed me that it takes generally 6-9mos to fully train the rats. Behavior Analyst speak: they've reached maintenance status. Typically the rats are trained in pairs, same sex. It was noted that female rats tend to learn quicker, I'm just sayin'. They learn to shoot a basketball on their side of the court only and must go to their indicated reinforcement tube to receive reinforcement. The schedule of reinforcement is a fixed rate at 1:1. The reinforcement for these rats were bits of cheerios. The rats retire after a year or two. This researcher indicated she might adopt them when they retire. That's a bit overkill I think.