February 20, 2013

What sleeping seals reveal about how the brain works

A new study led by an international team of biologists from the University of Toronto and UCLA has identified some of the brain chemicals that allow seals to sleep with half of their brain at a time.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Neuroscience, identified the chemical cues that allow the seal brain to remain half awake and asleep.

Scientists said their findings may explain the biological mechanisms that enable the brain to remain alert during waking hours and go off-line during sleep.