Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cute, furry, smart, animal time

Like Goldilocks, mice know a bed that's 'just right' - New Scientist

It seems like every day there is a study indicating that lowly mammals (and birds) are smarter than we thought. Mind you, I am not entirely sure if discovering what some rodents seem to understand has all that much point, really. For example:

Just like Goldilocks, mice have an innate sense of what makes a good bed: a specific group of cells in their brains becomes active when they see a potential nesting spot – but only if it perfectly matches their size...

The researchers say that the findings demonstrate that rodents can understand some abstract concepts, such as the idea of a "bed" that is independent from specific nesting bowls.

Just to rule out the possibility that they actually run the universe, perhaps someone should sit a few mice in front of a TV flashing "E= mc2" and other basic equations, and see if their brain cells click away in recognition. (I like to think that I cover all possibilities.)

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