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标题新东方17-1 分类12 查看1297 上传19

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Evolution of sleep

Sleep is very ancient. In the electroencephalographic sense we share it with all the primates and almost all the other mammals and birds: it may extend back as far as the reptiles. There is some evidence that the two types of sleep, dreaming and dreamless, depend on the life-style of the animal, and that predators are statistically much more likely to dream than prey, which are in turn much more likely to experience dreamless sleep. In dream sleep, the animal is powerfully immobilized and remarkably unresponsive to external stimuli. Dreamless sleep is much shallower, and we have all witnessed cats or dogs cocking their ears to a sound when apparently fast asleep. The fact that deep dream sleep is rare among pray today seems clearly to be a product of natural selection, and it makes sense that today, when sleep is highly evolved, the stupid animals are less frequently immobilized by deep sleep than the smart ones.

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