Rats are smart, that’s a well known fact. But US researchers said Tuesday a series of tests have shown they may be just as good as humans at juggling information in order to make the best decision. The discovery could help scientists better understand how the brain works in order to help people with autism who have difficulty processing various stimuli the way that others can, said the study authors. Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ran tests that presented rats with a variety of sound and visual cues, and analyzed how the rodents sifted through that information and recognized patterns in order to get a treat. Comparing the rats to humans who were given similar tests, they found that both groups made decisions that were in line with the “statistically optimal” curve — in other words, the best way possible.