Animal Dreaming and Substantiation: A Potential Field in Science Essay

Animal Dreaming and Substantiation: A Potential Field in Science Essay

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Animal sleep is presented in various patterns like hibernation, nocturnal activity, and even napping! For example, penguins rarely sleep in case of abrupt attacks of predators. They sleep in standing positions for only a few minutes to provide security. In some occasions, penguins take naps in the ocean after a full meal. As this example demonstrates, the state of sleeping in animals is confirmed based on scientific research. The evidence of animal sleep is obvious, mainly characterized by temporary unconsciousness, non-responsiveness to external stimuli, and passivity in movement. Although animal sleeping is corroborated by these common symptoms, animal dreaming is a controversial issue in the scientific field. Many scholars are opposed to the state of animal dreaming because verbal description lacks and data is limited to those collected through visual means. However, animal dreaming should not be disregarded on account of three scientific elements; particular brain activity, specific stages of sleep, and involuntary body movements.
First of all, the brain activity of sleeping animals is considerably related to humanity. The first similarity is the brain wave patterns during animal sleep. Sleep in humans is usually accompanied by weak Alpha waves and strong Theta waves. The electrical activity of the animal brain was measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG) in the early research conducted by Dr. William C. Dement, the founder of the Sleep Research Center (Dement, 1957). Accordingly, Alpha waves disappeared and Theta waves strongly appeared matching those of with human brain waves. Another explanation is the distinctive pattern of neurons which is created in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the major component of the bra...


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Dement, W. (1957). Cyclic variations in eeg during sleep and their relation to eye movements, body motility, and dreaming. Chicago: Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology. Retrieved from http://library.thinkquest.org/25553/english/study/research/hist.shtml
Kenway, L. (2001, January 24). Animals have complex dreams, MIT researcher proves. MIT News. Retrieved from http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/dreaming.html
Low, P. (2008, April 7). Mammalian-like features of sleep structure in zebra-finches. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/105/26/9081.abstract
Morrison, A. (2009). An odyssey with animals: A veterinarian's reflections on the animal rights & welfare debate. (1st ed.). United States of America: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://yoursleep.aasmnet.org/AskASpecialist.aspx?id=24

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