My hero Mark Liberman gives his take on the Language Rats

Yee! See, he even included the actual results from the actual article. Is he awesome, or what?

You don’t believe me? Well, read this!

In other words, in all cases the rats are responding very nearly randomly, but in the forwards condition they responded just a bit (about .08) more often (in the first minute vs. the second minute after hearing the sentence) to same-language test material than to the new-language test material. This marginal effect did not hold in the backwards condition, which might be because the rats were better able to encode the natural patterns, or might be because they were distracted by the unnatural patterns (you might call this the “holy sh*t, what was that?” effect).

Both sorts of explanations might have played a role here.

I mean, come on…the “holy sh*t, what was that?” effect!