What do animals dream of? A study from University College London, attempted to find that out recently. Researchers devised a small maze and kept four rats in it. From the maze, the rats could see food, but could not actually reach it. When the rats slept, electrodes attached to the animals to record brain activity showed that the planning center of the brain, the hippocampus, was heavily active during the sleep cycle. While the researchers were not able to say for sure what the rats might have been looking forward to, the fact that brain activity depicting a plan for future action could be detected is significant.
An earlier study in rat dreams and memory resulted in an MIT scientist being able to implant a false memory in a mouse. This recent study was not quite the same, however the ability of the brain to process memory and plan for future activity based on those memories is an area of research that is of great interest to scientists.