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To distinguish contexts, animals think probabilistically, study suggests

To distinguish contexts, animals think probabilistically, study suggests

Among the many things rodents have taught neuroscientists is that in a region called the hippocampus, the brain creates a new map for every unique spatial context—for instance, a different room or maze. But scientists have so far struggled to learn how animals decides when a context is novel enough to merit creating, or at least revising, these mental maps. In a study in eLife, MIT and Harvard researchers propose a new understanding: The process of "remapping" can be mathematically modeled as a feat of probabilistic reasoning by the rodents.