Mouse wearing a tiny virtual reality glasses Credit: mitarart –

ASHBURN, VIRGINIA  Rats possess imaginations similar to humans, researchers have discovered. Their experiments demonstrated that rats could use their minds to perform tasks in a virtual reality environment.

A team in Virginia developed an innovative system combining virtual reality with a brain-machine interface, allowing them to explore the cognitive abilities of lab rodents. Their findings reveal that rats, much like humans, can think about places and objects that are not immediately present, essentially using their imaginations to picture what they want to see.

The study also discovered that rats could use their minds to move objects within the VR world, reminiscent of the feats Jedis in “Star Wars” are capable of performing. This research provides evidence that not only rats, but possibly other animals as well, have imaginative capabilities similar to humans.

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus found that brain activity in rodents, akin to humans, is activated when they experience new places and events. This neural activity […]

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