I'm looking for a short story I've read long ago, and my memory is fuzzy.
It was in an Italian-language, translated in an anthology. The anthology was probably from the 1970s or early 1980s.
It's an odd story in first person, about researchers testing the local alien intelligence; said aliens appear peaceful, shy, live in a green (forest?) planet (IIRC solar but not Mars), and love eating some herb or greenery; the test subject gets put in a maze with the treat at the end, but display odd behaviours: first run as expected, second run they test the painful path first and look meek, third run they refuse the treat. Same goes for different test subjects.
IIRC one of the other researchers was being targeted for murder.
I'd read it in the 1990s, likely first published much earlier.
The oddities get explained in the final reveal, whereby it is found out that the researchers were kidnapped by the aliens and by then subjected to testing to gauge their ability to make sense of random stimuli before going insane. The underlying theme is "how do you test for intelligence more advanced than your own?"