Rats have an imagination.

Rats have the ability to imagine

Rats have the ability to imagine

A new study suggests that the rodents' brain activity is triggered in a similar manner to humans by both places and events.

The experts combined virtual reality and a brain-machine interface to find out what the creatures were thinking and found that the rats voluntarily generated the same thought patterns to navigate towards rewards.

Dr. Chongxi Lai, the first author of the study at Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, said: "The rat can activate the representation of places in the environment without going there.

"His thoughts can go to a very remote location."

Dr. Lai explained that the study is the first to show that animals have the ability to activate the brain's representations of places that are distant from where they are.

He said: "This is a fundamental building block of a specific type of imagination, one that enables us to project ourselves into the past or future, within a certain scenario."