Octopuses sleep—and probably dream—similar to people

Image of an octopus lying on a reef, with a diver in the background.

Enlarge (credit score: Imagen Rafael Cosme Daza )

Most creatures sleep, however till now, REM (fast eye motion) sleep, the part of sleep by which desires happen, was considered unique to vertebrates. Octopuses look like the primary invertebrates to indicate they’re additionally able to this

In the case of neural perform, research have discovered these cephalopods are extra like us than we predict (pun considerably supposed). Having no backbone hasn’t stopped them from evolving a posh nervous system. A 2022 examine discovered that components of their brains, the frontal and vertical lobes, work very like the hippocampus and limbic lobe in people and different vertebrates. The hippocampus is essential to studying and reminiscence, whereas the limbic lobe controls complicated emotional reactions, such because the fight-or-flight response that’s triggered by stress or concern.

Now it appears that evidently octopuses have much more in widespread with us. In learning their sleep conduct, a staff of researchers on the Okinawa Institute of Science and Know-how noticed each intervals of quiet sleep, or NREM sleep (often known as sluggish wave sleep), and bursts of neural exercise, throughout which the animals’ eyes and tentacles twitched whereas their pores and skin modified colour. Neural actions like these, that are much like the waking state, solely occur throughout REM sleep. As a result of they’ll transition between NREM and REM sleep, octopuses are the one identified invertebrates which have two phases of sleep.

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