The findings are important to understanding human reasoning, especially in older adults, as ageing degrades the ability to maintain information about unobserved events, the researchers said.The recent study draws from long-understood ideas that when a rat (or dog or pigeon) observes one event followed by another, such as a tone followed by food, it forms an association between the events.

After the association is formed, whenever the rat hears the tone, it expects food to follow."What I have shown in my research is that rats not only acquire these types of associations between two events, they can form a causal link between them as well," said lead researcher Aaron Blaisdell from University of California, Los Angeles.

For example, if two lights occur at the same time, a rat will expect one light to occur whenever the other one does.But even more remarkably, if researchers cover one of the lights so that the rat cannot see it and then the researchers present the other light, the rats take actions as though the hidden light might be on.

Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk