Sleepy - Preadaptation!

Timothy J Triche, Jr. tjt3 at cornell.edu
Mon Feb 27 21:13:23 EST 1995


In article <3it5vp$p1g at cat.cis.Brown.EDU>, ST004131 at brownvm.brown.edu
(Justin Baker) wrote:

> Yes, I had thought of those specific examples myself.  What good can sleep
> serve for a predator?
> 
> And why does sleep seem necessary even when it heals no physiological function?
> 
> The explanation that I have for either of these questions is that sleep evolved
> as previously described in animals which were characteristically prey.  That
> is, sleep perhaps evolved into mammals during the paleolithic era when they
> were without exception prey, and not predator.  If such was the case, then
> the preadaptive functions of sleep could easily have changed during speciation
> of mammals.
> 
> The question still remains:  why, in such circumstances, would sleep behavior
> be so universal?  While my answer is still quite vague, it only makes sense to
> say that evolutionary processes must have found sleep very useful.
> 
> JTB

A recent article (actually, not so recent - last summer, to be more
precise) in _Science_ (the AAAS journal) linked sleep with "muscle memory",
that is, procedural memory in the cerebellum.  It also appears to affect
memory and learning, as anyone at college can tell you.

I think I saw a recent overview of physiological functions for sleep in
_Physiology of Behavior_ 4th ed. by Carlson.  It may be covered elsewhere.
I just looked in Principles of Neural Science 3rd ed and Chapter 51 deals
entirely with sleep and dreaming.  There is a passage in there regarding
differences among animals for time spent in REM sleep, for example...

X+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+oX
Xo  Timothy J Triche, Jr <tjt3 at cornell.edu> Evading justice since 1975  +X
X+  Rumors are Treason and make The Computer unHappy...have a Nice Day  oX
Xo+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+o+X



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list