Rats can learn from their previous activities to hone their skills and timing, according to a joint study by the Paris-Saclay Neuroscience Institute, Neurospin, and a researcher from the Institute of Psychology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

What to know:

  • Rats have the capability of introspection and use that skill to evaluate and improve their task performance, especially when it comes to a time-based task.

  • Rats were given opportunities to have food dispensed to them from two different feeders with the amount of food being based on timing and skill.

  • During each trial, the rodents evaluated the precision with which they had carried out the previous task and did better the next time.

  • The rats were able to access their early attempts, learning that the location of their reward depended on their accuracy.

  • The discovery that rats have introspective behaviors opens doors to new kinds of animal research to better understand these behaviors in humans. It also helps to unlock the fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms and brain structures involved in our internal representation of time.
     

This is a summary of the article “Rats can estimate their timing accuracy” published by Science Daily on February 22. The full article can be found on sciencedaily.com.

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