Rats sporting tiny metal caps are not the latest in rodent fashion but rather an attempt to learn more about their brains and by extension help unravel mysteries about the human brain. 

The headgear, appropriately called a RatCAP, is a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that creates three-dimensional color images of what’s happening in the rodent’s brain while it runs around its laboratory home. 

“Positron emission tomography is a powerful tool for studying the molecular processes that occur in the brain,” lead study researcher Paul Vaska, head of PET physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, N.Y., said in a statement.

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