Stuck in someone else's frames? break free!
Let's run an experiment on the goldfish we have in our unheated aquarium. This gadget is called a "T-maze" because it looks like a "T," but because of the way it is constructed, there is a trick to getting through it. It is made of plastic, because we never, ever put metal into an aquarium.
We'll put some fish food into the end of the T's arm, and at the same time, we'll flash a light at the top of the aquarium, for about 15 minutes once each day. The fish will learn, after just a few days, that the light means there is food available to them.
As we have observed, goldfish seem always hungry. (Actually, they can live for four to five WEEKS without being fed, if the ecosystem of their aquarium is right!) Any time there is any kind of activity near the aquarium, the goldfish swim up to the top, ready to eat whatever is set before them.
All fish seem hungry most of the time, and they all exhibit some kind of different behavior when there is activity at the aquarium. Top feeders come to the top and swim around, looking for their food. Middle feeders show a little more energy than usual, but they don't come to the top, unless they are extra hungry. Bottom feeders sort of quiver and dart around the floor.
It is difficult to say whether we have trained the fish to respond to a specific activity, such as flashing a light, or if they think they're going to be fed just because we open the lid or come over close to the aquarium.
Those huge goldfish called "Koi" that people have in outdoor ponds will learn, in just a few days, that a certain vocal sound means that there is food available to them, and will swim to the place where a person is standing, or to a certain place at the top of the pond.
I don't think it takes any captive animal very long to learn how to get food, who brings it, or the kind of activity that always precedes being fed. Forcing a captive animal to go through a maze to find food, or to open doors, like the monkeys are taught, certainly is called training. How much they actually learn is questionable, since the "lesson" has to be repeated daily so they won't forget.
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