You've probably never experienced such pure excitement as when a rat tracks its target in a game of hide and seek.
German scientists spent weeks playing games with a group of rodents, hiding behind obstacles and encouraging them to release their detective Basile the Great Mouse.
Believe it or not, the rats were extremely capable of finding the hidden humans – and their success literally saw them jumping for joy.
Teen boys learned to start each game in a closed box, open remotely.
From there, they quickly came up with various strategies to find the human players, including the next visit to the places they were in previous rounds.
When it came to searching, the rats were just as smart – they learned to shelter in opaque boxes scattered throughout the room rather than in transparent boxes.
Each victory was hailed by "positive social interaction" rather than any other treat, and the rats were still gaining momentum if it jumped into the air, letting out ultrasonic laughter that was synonymous with happiness.
Konstantin Hartmann, of the Humboldt University of Berlin, co-authored the study for the journal Science and said the results showed how rats could be smart.
He told AFP: "When you work a lot with rats over the years, you see how intelligent and social these animals are, but it was always very surprising for us to see how successful they were. . "
The creatures liked to play so much that they often did not want to have fun, sometimes ending up hiding to hide in a new place and repeating it several times to indicate that they wanted to continue.
Dr. Hartmann stated that this showed that rodents liked to play to play themselves – but also addressed any potential ethical concerns about the study.
Microfilas were attached to the head of each rat during play to record their brain activity, allowing them to identify the response of individual neurons to specific events.
He added that this could be useful for a future study on the consequences of brain development if playing time is restricted during adolescence, both for animals and for humans.
He added: "I think being aware of the cognitive abilities of an animal is really important.
"This type of research will also help other scientists to see in rats more than what you usually see when you come to get the rat and use it for standard experiments, when you do not know what these animals can do. "