Beware, the rats are listening

Rats can distinguish between human languages

source: New Scientist vol 185 no 2482
January 15 2005 p18

A team led by Juan Toro from Barcelona University, Spain, has discovered that rats can distinguish between Japanese and Dutch. One group of rats was rewarded for pressing a lever when they heard Japanese from a speech synthesizer, while another was rewarded for pressing the lever when they heard Dutch. The rats rewarded for responding to Japanese did not press the lever when they heard Dutch, and vice versa. They were unable to distinguish between the two languages when sentences were said backwards. This research was reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied Behaviour Processes, vol 31 p95.