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Do Dogs Dream?

There is no reason to believe that dogs do not dream, although it is not ascertained scientifically. There are certain behaviors associated with dogs when they are either asleep or fully awake. These include whining, tail wagging, leg paddling, and twitching noses. These activities definitely arouse curiosity about the idea of dogs’ dreams.

Current information on dogs and dreams

Although scientific knowledge on this aspect of dogs is limited, there is plausible data that may lend credibility to the occurrence of dreams in dogs. Matthew Wilson, a professor of neuroscience and graduate student Kenway Louie conducted an interesting study on memory, sleep, and dreams. One experiment on rats revealed that after the rodents were trained to complete a track for treats, a distinct pattern of neurons was created in their brains.

This experiment was conducted again as the rats were asleep. It revealed the same distinct brain activity that was evident as the rats were running on the track. Additionally, the memories of the rats at both instances played at near similar speeds.

Application to Dogs

The main question is whether the data on rats and humans can be applied to dogs. Matthew Wilson seems to believe so. He bases this belief on the fact that the hippocampus; the organ responsible for the collection and storage of memories, functions the same way in all animals. He concludes that the same dreaming process that occurs in humans must also occur in dogs.

In humans, most dreams occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Dogs also exhibit this sleeping patterns and activities associated with dreaming such as rapid eye movements, leg paddling, and twitching can be observed during this phase.

Inference In Relation To Dogs

Going by the information from the study by Wilson and Louie, it is definitely not far-fetched to believe that dogs possibly reenact their favorite daily activities. Sigmund Freud’s theory about dreams being a safety valve for unconscious desires could possibly be true. These canines may be dreaming about activities that they are looking forward to doing.

SOURCE: Pet Health Network
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