Researchers have learned that rats are capable of complex, human-like thinking and planning and that when they dream, they “replay” the day’s events in their minds, like a movie?something humans do too.
In LiveScience.com, Charles Q. Choi reports that rats seem to be capable of reflecting on what they do or do not know. He quotes psychologist Jonathon Crystal as saying, “If rats can do it, this capability may be more widespread than imagined.” He adds, “Imagine, for instance, that you’re a student going into a classroom to take an exam. You will often have some idea how well you’re going to do on the test. You know before you answer the questions whether you know or don’t know the answers. This pretty complex form of cognition, known as metacognition, is at the heart of the human condition.” Rats can do this too.
In another LiveScience article, Jeanna Bryner reports that when rats sleep, they replay the day?s events in their minds?in other words, they “dream.” Researchers have discovered that we learn while we sleep, and they think that the dreams of rats do the same thing for them.
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