Learning it forwards and sdrawkcab

Lab rat: A brown lab rat in a cage, poking it's nose out between the bars -- ooh, it's sooooo cute!

A new study suggests that our brains learn by replaying events in reverse.

In a lab experiment, mice were taught a new task. Researchers recorded their brain activity. After the task, they found the nerve cells active in learning the task fired again, but in reverse order. Scientists suspect the brain is trying to reinforce the activities closest to the successful completion of the task.

Human brains and rat brains have some strong similarities, so this may lead to a new understanding of human learning. For instance, researchers have long known that cramming right before a test generally doesn't help—the brain needs time to absorb the new knowledge. If the "running in reverse" pattern holds true in humans, then the best approach may be to take frequent breaks to allow our brains to review the material.

Hmm, I wonder if my boss will buy that? "I wasn't goofing off playing Solitaire! I was giving my brain a chance to replay my new knowledge!"

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Mon, 02/20/2006 - 12:54pm
horsyhollygirl's picture
horsyhollygirl says:

I didn't know that rat and human brains are simuler! I bet alot of people would like rats alot better if they knew that!

posted on Sun, 03/19/2006 - 5:51pm
Briony's picture
Briony says:

Keeping rat in cages are cruel and testing stuff on them
just cause they are smaller than us!
people should be proud!!!!

posted on Fri, 09/21/2007 - 4:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

only sick people use rats and and other animals to test stuff on.At least it's not as bad as it used to be, i read that in the past a cat had its eyelids cut off and was kept running on a tresdmill for seven days! sick!

posted on Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:31pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I have not heard of that particular incident. If true, then yes, that is remarkably cruel. But it sounds like an urban legend to me.

Without animal testing, medical research would completely shut down. All drugs are tested on animals first, as are many surgical procedures.

Do we spare the lives of lab animals, and let millions of people die? Or, do we sacrifice the lives of the lab animals, and develop drugs that will save millions of human lives? I know which one I'd choose.

posted on Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:33pm

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