Dec 15, 2015

Sleep intensity and the evolution of human cognition

Evolutionary Anthropology
David R Samson, Charles L Nunn

Abstract

Over the past four decades, scientists have made substantial progress in understanding the evolution of sleep patterns across the Tree of Life. Remarkably, the specifics of sleep along the human lineage have been slow to emerge. This is surprising, given our unique mental and behavioral capacity and the importance of sleep for individual cognitive performance. One view is that our species' sleep architecture is in accord with patterns documented in other mammals. We promote an alternative view, that human sleep is highly derived relative to that of other primates. Based on new and existing evidence, we specifically propose that humans are more efficient in their sleep patterns than are other primates, and that human sleep is shorter, deeper, and exhibits a higher proportion of REM than expected. Thus, we propose the sleep intensity hypothesis: Early humans experienced selective pressure to fulfill sleep needs in the shortest time possible. Several factors likely served as selective pressures for more efficient sleep, including increased predation risk in terrestrial environments, threats from intergroup conflict, and benefits arising from increased social interaction. Less sleep would enable longer active periods in which to ac...Continue Reading

  • References64
  • Citations15

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Patterns
Trees (plant)
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Ability to Perform Cognitive Activity
Primates
Documented
Cognition
Psyche Structure
Biological Evolution
Selection, Genetic

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis

Neural stem cells play a critical role in the production of neuronal cells in neurogenesis is of great importance. Of interest is the role signalling mechanisms in adult neurogenesis. Discover the latest research on signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Psychiatric Chronotherapy

Psychiatric Chronotherapy considers the circadian rhythm as a major factor for optimizing therapeutic efficacy of psychiatric interventions. Discover the latest research on Psychiatric Chronotherapy here.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

Related Papers

Archivos de la Fundación Roux-Ocefa
G Carra
Rivista di neurologia
G F RossiM Caldarelli
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Takefumi KikusuiYuji Mori
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved