Cambridge, Massachusetts - Scientists have frightened the bejaysus out of millions of furry little critters by implanting inaccurate memories in their brains in experiments aiming to explain false-memory syndrome.
Yeah, that's right.
In scenes that might have come straight from the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sharon Stone movie Total Recall animal shrinks at the Massachusetts Institute of Critter Engineering [MICE] successfully implanted fools memories of a holiday on Mars.
They then hooked up the rodents' brains to 3-D scanners capable of generating animated imagery following stimulus of photosensitive pigment in the rodents' brains.
"What emerged on the screens was kinda scary," project leader Professor Einstein Flintstone said, "think a rodents' version of Rosemary's Baby meets The Exorcist."
The mice appeared to experience their own species take on satanic ritual abuse, triggering psychotic episodes each time a white-coated lab technician appeared nearby.
Several hundred thousand eventually died of paranoia-induced comas in what MICE experimenters have hailed a triumph of psycho-engineering.
However some of the remaining experimentees managed to escape into the wild where they have formed their own covens and started to breed.
The next Full Moon is on August 20th.