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What Octopus Dreams Tell Us About Sleep Disorders


Fruits fly, octopus, birds, and humans seem to have no similarities. Some live on land, others in water. Some fly, while others are earthly. Some are cats, others have no back bones. These creatures changed differently and their common ancestry is far away. But they can share one important thing: They dream.

Almost all organisms sleep, although there is some controversy over how organisms with a single cell like paramecium function. But no one knows how. For years, researchers have used music to play the role that sleep plays to remember, growth, and learning — and obviously people need sleep to do its job well – but there are a few other ones that sound good. “Sleep is a very dark box,” says Marcos Frank, a psychologist at Washington State University. Frank compares sleep to a strange organ: It is obviously present and essential for the health of the animal, but it is also functional and the mechanisms for this process are unknown.

It is astonishing that some species seem to have only one sleep, while their brains are silent, while others appear to have two types, a peaceful component and a working world. In humans, the period during which the brain glows and touches is called the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. That’s when we dream and when we have a hard time waking up.

For a long time, scientists have not identified the deep sleep zone in amphibians or reptiles. So until recently, the theory was that it evolved later in history, through a parent who shared it with birds and animals. But in 2016 fast sleep was recorded in abuluzi. Then in 2019, the government was described in cuttlefish, and in March, a team of scientists in Brazil published paper in Science identify in the octopus. Cephalopods like this view changed before the animals shared the line with birds and humans. “There’s no way there’s a single parent out there,” Frank says. Scientists are now questioning whether sleep apnea is more common than before, or whether it originated in a variety of ways at different times, in which wings and flying originated differently from insects, bats, and birds, a process called evolutionary change.

Understanding the pressures that led to these mutations can help scientists understand the dream function that works within the nerves and why sleep is so important. “What does the sleep of an animal do?” asks Sidarta Ribeiro, co-author and director of the Brain Institute at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte.

The first step in learning how animals sleep is to determine when they sleep. This is more difficult than it sounds. “Imagine you were on Mars and you found a living thing,” says Frank. “How do you know if it’s going to sleep or not?”

In mammals, scientists are able to attach electrons to their brains to monitor the activity of their neurons. But octopuses have a highly distributed nervous system. Instead of controlling their nervous system in one brain, they have eight cells in their hands that often move on their own.

Instead of using the wrong method such as connecting probes to determine sleep patterns, scientists at Ribeiro School have analyzed some of their mechanisms. Sylvia Medeiros, a graduate student and senior author of the study, tested the animal permit. Three of the four octopus of the lab were given a spectacular view-video of moving crabs. One found a boost, in the form of a slight shake on his tank. Medeiros wants to see how quickly he responds to pressure when he wakes up. He then tested them as if they were not working, and weighed their answers. The onset of guilty feelings about having the affair, in the first place, further zaps whatever energy the partner having the affair might still have left.


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