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Current Biology 18, R670R679, August 5, 2008 2008 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.033 ReviewUnearthing the Phylogenetic Roots of Sleep
 

Summary: Current Biology 18, R670R679, August 5, 2008 2008 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.033
ReviewUnearthing the Phylogenetic Roots of Sleep
Ravi Allada1 and Jerome M. Siegel2
Why we sleep remains one of the enduring unanswered
questions in biology. At its core, sleep can be defined be-
haviorally as a homeostatically regulated state of reduced
movement and sensory responsiveness. The cornerstone
of sleep studies in terrestrial mammals, including humans,
has been the measurement of coordinated changes in
brain activity during sleep measured using the electroen-
cephalogram (EEG). Yet among a diverse set of animals,
these EEG sleep traits can vary widely and, in some cases,
are absent, raising questions as to whether they define a
universal, or even essential, feature of sleep. Over the past
decade, behaviorally defined sleep-like states have been
identified in a series of genetic model organisms, including
fish, flies and worms. Genetic analyses in these systems
are revealing a remarkable conservation in the underlying
mechanisms controlling sleep behavior. Taken together,
these studies suggest an ancient origin for sleep and raise

  

Source: Allada, Ravi - Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine