jumping spiders may dream!

Fi Webster

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Whether they have visual dreams the way vertebrates do is unknown—it's suggested they may dream in the vibrations through which spiders do so much of their sensory processing—but apparently jumping spiders have sleep phases with REM & twitching.

The two links in that article, to the actual PNAS study on jumping spiders and to Lisa Taylor's "Inside the Mind of a Spider" piece, are even more fascinating. Cool science!
 
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dickson

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Whether they have visual dreams the way vertebrates do is unknown—it's suggested they may dream in the vibrations through which spiders do so much of their sensory processing—but apparently jumping spiders have sleep phases with REM & twitching.

The two links in that article, to the actual PNAS study on jumping spiders and to Lisa Taylor's "Inside the Mind of a Spider" piece, are even more fascinating. Cool science!
Neat article. I knew jumping spiders were smart, and that their eyes are almost as good as ours (within a factor of four for visual acuity, despite the discrepancy in raw aperture), but I never dreamt😃 of this!
 
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dickson

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But they did. This is so fascinating. Jumping spiders have a brain the size of a poppy seed and yet have complex hunting behaviour and now they dream.
A brain the size of a poppy seed sounds jumping-spider-big to me. On the other side of the ledger, Brazilian scientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel published The Human Advantage, in which she argues that the primary factor in animal intelligence is the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex.

It’s a fun read. Her enthusiasm for puréeing brains in blenders is infectious. Her biggest regret at time of publication was that she had to make do with only half an elephant brain.
 
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neandermagnon

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Well, based on what I previously read about the evolution of sentience and what are considered by the researchers to be signs of sentience, having a sleep/wake cycle is one. The article says they haven't yet demonstrated that the spiders are actually sleeping, but the discovering of REM-like behaviour is still significant, and very likely to be linked to the evolution of sentience whether or not the spiders turn out to be fully sentient. I suspect that sentience is more widespread in the animal kingdom than what's been found so far.

I'm glad all my years of carefully capturing and releasing spiders rather than killing them has not been in vain.
 
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Arthropods really are delightfully intelligent...everyone should live in a relationship with one (plenty of them don't have eight googly eyes and fangs).

We need more refined definitions of what "sleep" is (starting with what it does for a critter). It's not merely "unconsciousness" (whatever that is lol).
 

Fi Webster

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We need more refined definitions of what "sleep" is (starting with what it does for a critter). It's not merely "unconsciousness" (whatever that is lol).

I don't know what you mean by "more refined definitions" of what sleep is, but we do have a lot of info about what happens during sleep, what happens when people are deprived of sleep, and a number of well-documented functions of sleep.

Just to throw out a couple more citations:


 
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Roxxsmom

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I ran across an article about this recently. Pretty fascinating.

The science of consciousness has made some strides in recent years, and some information actually comes from more understanding of what happens in the brain when a person or animal is unconscious due to anesthetic or sleep. The weird conscious state that we experience within sleep--aka dreams--are especially fascinating.

Most of the work has been done on vertebrates, most especially mammals, and for a long time they only thought mammals had dreams. Then they found evidence in birds. Then in reptiles (well, birds are fancy and intelligent reptiles, really, so not surprising). Now information about some invertebrates is trickling in. There has already been evidence that octopi have (brief) dreams. Our neurons all function in pretty much the same way and share a common evolutionary heritage (albeit hundreds of millions of years ago), so it's not that surprising that we would see commonalities.

Surmising the exact subjective experiences of another being is tricky and problematic, of course, but the idea that only humans (or only mammals, or only primates or whatever) experience emotions or consciousness has mostly died among researchers. It makes logical sense that we are not alone here, since our feelings and awareness (and need to dream) had to evolve from something. It seems unlikely that it would emerge, fully formed, in a hominin ancestor if they didn't exist (in some form) in our shared ancestors.
 
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Kendall_Jackson

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I am afraid of spiders...not quite reaching arachnophobia but still...quite afraid...the cuter ones too...however...I do find it fascinating that they can dream or something similar...who knows what else we will find if we keep studying them...without hurting them I hope...
 
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