Researcher’s has recently monitored, rat’s brain activity and has noted that the brain cells are getting navigated in a specialized manner, which suggest us that, rats are simulated to walking to search food, while they were taking a rest.
The Findings of the study, might help us by explaining why some people with damage to hippocampus, a region of the brain is unable to think about the future. Similar to human, rats store some sort of mental maps of the world in their brain, especially in hippocampus, a curved structure in the brain.
Putting an electrodes into the rats’ brains, and they explore their environment, it has shown different places are recorded, and remembered by different combinations of hippocampal neurons, firing together.
Senior author of the study, Dr Hugo Spiers explained,
“During exploration, mammals rapidly form a map of the environment in their hippocampus. During sleep or rest, the hippocampus replays journeys through this map which may help strengthen the memory. It has been speculated that such replay might form the content of dreams. Whether or not rats experience this brain activity as dreams is still unclear, as we would need to ask them to be sure. Our new results show that during rest the hippocampus, also constructs fragments of a future yet to happen. Because the rat and human hippocampus are similar, this may explain why patients with damage to their hippocampus struggle to imagine future events.”
Co-leader Dr. Freyja Ólafsdóttir, mentioned that the real interesting part of the brain is that, hippocampus and is normally thought as very important part of memory and stores each detail about the places that you’ve visited. He, also added that, hippocampus also plans for the future and also make a rehearsal, which they want to do in the future, for food.
The findings clearly state that, the ability of imaging future event is not only an ability of a human brain, but also an animal can even think about of event, that can happen in future. The researcher team wondered that the activity of the brain is during sleep or it might reflect where a rat wants to go in the future.
Rats were placed in the bottom of the T-shaped pathway, and placed a food at the end of one arm, and made it visible to the animal. Then they placed a grill in between the food and the rat, After that, they encouraged the rats to sleep over a cosy nest and the activity of the brain is recorded, when they rested on the cosy nest. Now, the grill was removed and the brain activity of the rat is recorded, it is same as they recorded while the rats were asleep.
It is a bit like in the film Inception, and they were able to change the dream of the mice. When the electrodes are stimulated brain areas, the rats were moving to the places, where they dreamt.
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