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Technology and Health News > Saturday, March-29-2008

Mice know to apply rules!

The rodents, as primates, are able to learn simple abstract principles for later use in different situations...

A long considered exclusive to primates appears in reality shared by other species. Having already been demonstrated in some birds in fact, the ability to apply abstract rules just learned, and to to adapt to new situations was also observed in mice. The study, published in a number of Science, was conducted by Robin Murphy of University College London.

The experiments were carried out by subjecting the animals to visual and acoustic stimuli. In the first phase mice, divided into three groups, have responded to three different sequences of visual stimuli, consisting of the sequence of light and dark. For each group only a sequence was associated with the food. After an initial period of "training", the mice were able to distinguish between those identifying sequences associated with reward.

Same results for the second test, in which mice have applied the rule learned in the first stage, distinguishing the same sequences recreated with acoustic stimuli of low and high frequency. Researchers have noted that rodents are waiting for the food only after the sequence corresponding to the sound visual acuity (learned during the first trial) associated with the food.

Even these animals seem to present cognitive-behavioral processes based on certain abstract general rules!

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