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28 June 2010

Dogs dream of past experiences

Turns out pet owners who have gotten a chuckle out of watching their dog sleep while its paws race frenetically in place were right - pets do dream while sleeping.

How many pet owners have gotten a chuckle out of watching their dog sleep while its paws race frenetically in place? Many figured that Rover was romping somewhere in dreamland, and scientists say they were right: Pets do dream while sleeping.

As dogs and cats doze, images of past events replay in their minds much the same way humans recall experiences while dreaming, said Matthew Wilson of MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory in Cambridge, Mass. That's because the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, is basically wired the same way in virtually all vertebrates and mammals, he said.

"From the minute your head hits the pillow and you're out, the dreaming process begins," he said.

Bigger dogs have longer dreams

 
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