03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mouse Runs Through Virtual Reality Maze With Head In Brain-Scanning Helmet (VIDEO)

Princeton University neuroscientists put sensors in the brains of mice, then hooked them up to a virtual reality maze in order to study neurological activity of animals in motion.

Wired explains the experiment:

The setup allows for real-time, almost-real-motion tracking of single neurons. That feat has eluded researchers who have a fuzzy, general understanding of brain systems, but little knowledge of how individual cells actually work. They hope that cell-level details will make sense of motion, cognition and other complex mental functions.

See the experiment below. The mouse is running on a Styrofoam ball , its held secured in a metal helmet, while it navigates a virtual reality maze (which is a modified version of the Quake 2 video game).