Some of us will dream about the foods that we want to eat and the places we hope to visit. Apparently, Tacoma rats have the same dream. The experts at the UCL (University College London) conducted studies that analyze the sleeping behavior of the rats. They discovered that once the rats have been presented with a food placed at an area that they cannot reach; they will display activities on their nervous system while they are sleeping. This is a clear indication that they were also dreaming about successfully getting their hands on that sumptuous meal.
Do They Really Dream About Food?
The scientists who conducted the study are not 100% certain that the rats are dreaming about foraging foods. Nonetheless, all the evidence that they have gathered are indicating the same thing. This current discovery has narrowed the gap between animals and humans since this has showed that rodents also have the capacity to imagine. Apart from this, the study was also able to find out why those individuals who have damage on their hippocampus will have trouble in imagining events related with the future.
The Dreams of the Tacoma Rats
When we are dreaming, we will immediately form the map of our surrounding inside the hippocampus. While we are resting or sleeping, the hippocampus can replay these scenes through the maps that we have created. This process can help in strengthening our memory. Whether the rats also have this ability is not yet known. They will have to tell us first in order to be clear about this. What is clear though is that the hippocampus of rats and humans are alike.
Due to the similarity of the human brain to the brain of these rodents, they were often used for clinical experiment. The test being conducted on these animals are mostly about their brain activity and related medications. When there is a new drug that is being tested, rats are often the test subjects due to the likeliness of our brain chemistry to them. The way that their brain works also help the experts to understand how different brain ailments develop and how it can be cured.
According to an expert at the University of Minnesota, the study revealed that the dreams of the rats is affected by their goal in walking life. Their dreams will not just reflect their regular activities, it is highly dependent upon the desire of the rats. During the research, they also realized that the dreams of the rats can be altered. When they used electrodes that are meant to stimulate the brain of the rats that conveys rewards, it is highly likely for them to visit that place once they woke up.
Surprising as it may seem, Washington rats dream like human do. They are capable of imagining the possible future in their sleep. This is probably brought by the fact that human’s brain closely resembles the design and chemistry of the brain of the rats. The information gathered on how their brain works can actually be applied to humans.
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