03/26/2021

I Dream Of Octopuses, But Do They Dream About Me?

15:55 minutes

Sleep is nearly universal in the animal kingdom, but how animals sleep is not the same. Studies have found that in mammals, giraffes get the least amount of shut eye, while koalas can sleep up to 22 hours a day. 

There are also different types of sleep cycles—including a stage called rapid-eye movement or REM, which is often compared to non-REM sleep. A team of researchers wanted to study these different sleep cycles to understand how they might be connected to learning and memory. The scientists turned to the octopus as their study subject, selected for their complex behaviors and large brains. Their results were recently published in the journal iScience

Neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro, one of the authors on the study, joins Science Friday to explain how you measure the sleep cycles of an octopus, and what this can tell us about if an octopus might dream.


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Segment Guests

Sidarta Ribeiro

Sidarta Ribeiro is a professor of Neuroscience and the vice director and founder of the Brain Institute at The Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal, Brazil.

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

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About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a senior producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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