Rats Regret Bad Decisions

June 9, 2014 3:57 PM

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To err—and therefore, to regret—is human. Now, a new study suggests that rodents are also capable of pining over what might have been. Researchers say the insight could help improve animal models of bad decisions, such as drug or alcohol use that leads to addiction.

Our ability to experience regret depends on what neuroscientists describe as “mental time travel”—casting our thoughts into the past or future to reconstruct or fabricate scenarios, says A. David Redish, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Although researchers once thought ...

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