October 17, 2012

Dolphins can sleep in one brain hemisphere at a time...

... and thereby remain alert continuously.
[A]s the experiment wore on -- three, four, five days straight -- their performance waned only slightly. In fact, the female dolphin was tested for 15 days straight with no apparent effect on performance.

13 comments:

Henry said...

Dear Mr. Obama. You are not a dolphin.

Shouting Thomas said...

I also learned, in a recent Discovery TV program, that dolphins aren't just loveable teddy bears of the ocean.

They're actually pretty rotten bastards if you are one of their prey animals. They like to play with their food.

Also, the males kidnap the females and keep them prisoner in order to try to ensure that they sire the babies.

The females are tricky and try like hell to screw every male they can.

Nasty bunch.

Chip Ahoy said...

So what.

One of my hemispheres is typing this message and the other hemisphere is over there mixing epoxy for marbles, while my subsphere is making a grilled cheese sandwich and my supersphere is up there taking dance lessons. Supersphere was always a klutz.

wyo sis said...

Obama has evolved a substitute brain called the mainstreammedilia that stays alert constantly to ward off conservative predators.

edutcher said...

I know people who sleep in both brain hemispheres while appearing awake.

Lem said...

Who needs two hemispheres when you have Candy.

EDH said...

Yea, but can a dolphin put down a riff?

Rolling Stone Keith Richards claims he managed to stay awake for nine days back in the 1970s, thanks to a cocktail of narcotics - but the feat ended badly.

He reveals, "On the ninth day I was putting a tape into a tape deck. In 0.3 of a second I fell asleep and crashed head-first into a JVC speaker, smashing my nose apart. I just lay there and let it bleed. It was a chemical thing."

...Richards has a warning for illusionist DAVID BLAINE ahead of his sleep-deprivation stunt... Blaine plans to go a record-breaking 13 days without sleep later this year.

rick rogers said...

Can you imagine how productive you would be if you could do the same? Unless of course there are a number of important functions that require both hemispheres. But then again you could save these tasks for when both hemispheres are awake. Pretty crazy story.

Freeman Hunt said...

That is a pretty amazing feature. If humans could do that, you'd have this hyper-productive subset of people who did that almost all the time. Then there would be Full Sleep counter-movements and endless articles on sleeping effectively in single hemispheres.

Michael K said...

Dolphins are not as smart as people seem to think they are. They have large brains but they lack most of the frontal lobes where human judgement and imagination are. Their motor cortex is on the front of the brain while the human motor cortex is about 1/3 of the way back. They can learn but most of the big brain is to operate the body, not to think.

Bryan C said...

"They're actually pretty rotten bastards if you are one of their prey animals."

There's a Dolphin Warbird decloaking off the port bow!

tiger said...

I guess this bears repeating because I read about this 5=6 years ago.

Crunchy Frog said...

But can they sleep in a binder?