Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

System that controls sleep may be same for most mammals

Date:
June 30, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
In a novel mathematical model that reproduces sleep patterns for multiple species, an international team of researchers has demonstrated that the neural circuitry that controls the sleep/wake cycle in humans may also control the sleep patterns of 17 different mammalian species.

The neural circuitry that controls the sleep/wake cycle in humans may also control the sleep patterns of other mammalian species, new research shows.
Credit: iStockphoto/Brenda McEwan

In a novel mathematical model that reproduces sleep patterns for multiple species, an international team of researchers has demonstrated that the neural circuitry that controls the sleep/wake cycle in humans may also control the sleep patterns of 17 different mammalian species.

Related Articles


These findings, reported by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), the University of Sydney, and the Center for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (Camperdown, Australia), suggest that fundamental physiological mechanisms are at work across diverse species, even though sleep patterns vary drastically.

This research published June 24th in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

"These findings show that although mammalian sleep is remarkably diverse in expression, from dolphins who sleep with one brain half at a time to rodents who have many short naps, it is very likely universal in origin, which suggests that this simple system is both highly flexible and evolutionarily conserved," said Andrew Phillips, lead author of the paper and researcher in the Division of Sleep Medicine at BWH.

Over the past decade, researchers have reported findings related to the structures in the brain that are critical to sleep regulation, but these findings have been limited to a small number of species. Until now, it was unclear to what extent these physiological mechanisms are universal across all mammals, especially given such large interspecies differences in sleep patterns.

Using their model, the authors also provide insight into why the sleep patterns of different species are so distinct. For example, the model explains how some mammals (such as dolphins and seals) sleep with one half of their brain at a time while the other half remains active; if the sleep centers on either side of the brain inhibit one another then only one is able to activate at a time, preventing the animal from sleeping with both brain halves at once. This testable prediction awaits physiological investigation.

The authors stress that this research was performed using a mathematical model of the physiology to simulate the sleep patterns of different mammals. Further research is thus required to test these predictions directly, and to determine whether the same physiological mechanisms are at work in nocturnal species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Phillips AJK, Robinson PA, Kedziora DJ, Abeysuriya RG. Mammalian Sleep Dynamics: How Diverse Features Arise from a Common Physiological Framework. PLoS Computational Biology, 2010; 6 (6): e1000826 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000826

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "System that controls sleep may be same for most mammals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624183011.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, June 30). System that controls sleep may be same for most mammals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624183011.htm
Public Library of Science. "System that controls sleep may be same for most mammals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100624183011.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins