Do Rats Dream Of Unreachable Treats?

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A team of UCL scientists have found some evidence that sleeping minds are actively preparing for the future, at least when they have a clear goal to work towards. The experiment was done on rats (implanting electrodes into human volunteers’ brain is frowned upon), but both rats and people are known to use their hippocampus to store information about new environments and then to ‘replay’ those memories while sleeping to consolidate them. The UCL study shows that rats also ‘pre-play’ memories of places they have seen but not yet been to. Preplay lets rats plan visits to a new environment…


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