September 29, 2022

Why do sleeping dogs look like they’re running?

5 min read

“Sometimes when she’s asleep, her claws are aggressive – like, cowardly – like she’s running on an invisible treadmill,” said Seattle-based owner Wooden Yan.

“She’s dreaming, isn’t she?” Yan said. “She dreams of chasing squirrels and rabbits.”

The neuroscientist said the behaviors Yan observed were normal. Marcus Frank, A professor at Washington State University who studies sleep in animals. “I’ve seen it in my dogs. They’re running, they’ll whisper, they’ll bark, and they’ll wake up as if they don’t know where they are,” he said.

What is June really dreaming of? The sleeping life of animals has aroused human curiosity for thousands of years, but there are clear answers. “If a dog could give us a report, we might be able to answer that question,” Frank said.

Until then, we have to work with science. Here’s what we know.

What’s with the torsion?

Unintentional muscle jerks. myoclonus Common in both dogs and humans. This is what you see when the dog’s limbs and paws shake or move repeatedly during sleep. This REM often occurs during sleep. Shining eyes are also associated with REM.

And in humans, REM sleep has historically been associated with clear vision. This is the stage where you have all sorts of wonderful, full color experiences that you can’t wait to tell your family about breakfast.

Studies show that dogs can recognize different languages ​​and nonsense words.
Dogs get a lot of REM sleep, which is almost calculated. 12% of their total lifeAccording to a 1977 study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior. And because other aspects of sleep in dogs are similar to ours, scientists say they believe that resemblance can be extended to dreaming.

“From dogs to humans, most mammals show the same basic state of sleep,” said Frank. It’s hard to imagine that they are. ”

When the movement becomes more extensive during sleep, there may be something other than mucosal.

“It’s not uncommon for them to run out of sleep,” said Frank. “There’s a mechanism in the brain that paralyzes you from the neck down.” It’s an interesting event, and it usually keeps you from fulfilling your dreams. ”

The structure, called the pons, is located on the brain drain. Damage to the ponies can cause a short circuit in its ability to paralyze the sleeping body.

Do octopuses dream?  Probably.  But they do change color when they sleep.
Scientists have discovered. In the 1970’s, he developed brain tumor lesions. Domestic cats make animals more active in their sleep. The study showed cats raising their heads, moving their limbs and jumping.

Damage to the ponies from neurological disorders can also affect the brain’s ability to paralyze the body during sleep. For humans, a significant increase in dizziness during sleep may be an early warning sign of Parkinson’s disease, Frank said. If you see the same thing in your dog, he noticed, it is worth going to the doctor.

What’s really happening – and why?

For humans, REM is generally thought to play a role in strengthening sleep memory. There is some evidence that this is how it works for animals.

I A 2001 study Researchers published in the journal Neuron, observing brain wave activity in sleeping mice, concluded that the animals were repeating the events of the day. When the rats were running in a circular maze before they flowed, they could be seen repeating the running pieces of their maze at bedtime. And in 2017, a study Research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that dogs can use their nap time to reinforce memories formed when they are awake.
Dogs' wild cousins ​​behave in the same way that owners observe in their nap, says Emeritus Mark Bekov, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Colorado Boulder University.

The dogs participating in the study began by learning new sound commands. After a week of initial training, the animals that slept – instead of playing – after the lesson were able to perform the relevant task better than their control group counterparts. They may also be putting the day’s events behind them in their sleep.

When dogs sleep, “there’s no reason to believe they’re not reviving some previous experience,” said Emeritus Mark Bekov, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder.Canine Secret: Dogs do what they do.

This is also true for dogs’ wild cousins. Bekov has spent countless hours exploring the field, including watching wolves and coyotes sleep, and said they show the same behavior that pet owners see in their snatching cans.


But even if dogs, wolves and coyotes recount the events of the sleeping day, the results look (or smell) quite different from human dreams. “We have an unusual perspective, but dogs – that’s not their realm,” said Frank, a Washington State professor.

Although dogs do not have the best eyesight in the world, they are unusual in sniffing.

“I think there are some sensory contexts that should be in line with the mental content,” he said. “I’ve always wondered, when dogs dream, is this the scent world they’re experiencing?”

Why are we so obsessed with our sleeping dogs?

David M. Peña-Guzman is an associate professor of humanities and liberal studies at San Francisco State University.

Modern pet owners may be particularly disturbed by the sleepy lives of their peers, but interest in animal dreams goes back to ancient times Associate Professor of Studies.

“There are references to animal dreams in the works of people like Aristotle and a few other Greek philosophers,” said Pina Guzman, author of the forthcoming book.When animals dream: The hidden world of animal consciousness

Even then, humans liked to speculate about the dreams of animals they were close to, such as dogs and horses, he said. Spending a lot of time with a pet, Peña-Guzmán notes, makes it easier to imagine that he is a creature with an esoteric life. Less endangered species, such as frogs and insects, are overlooked in ancient accounts.

Why is a philosopher interested in animal dreams? In his book, Peña-Guzmán argues that the ability to dream shows that the animal experiences consciousness. And when we recognize the consciousness of an animal, he wrote, we are more likely to value their experiences, to make sure they deserve respectful treatment.

And Peña-Guzman dreams of an entire animal kingdom. He described a sleeping octopus. The color becomes kaleidoscopic., Which some scientists see as evidence of REM sleep. He wrote Zebra Finches Their brain activity during sleep seems to be the same as when they are singing. Peña-Guzman thinks that fish may also dream.

Peña-Guzmán acknowledges that not all animal scientists agree with their conclusions about dreams, but one thing is clear: we have a lot to learn about sleeping animals.

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“In dreaming you really see the power of the brain at work,” said Pina Guzman. “It’s really a powerful reminder of how little and how little we understand animals, and the extent to which animal brains reside in an undiscovered area that we know relatively little about.”

Jane Rose Smith is a writer in Vermont. But read more of his work

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