When it comes to whether dogs dream, science still hasn’t confirmed it, but we have all seen our dog’s behaviors in their sleep resembling the ones when they are awake.
Wagging tails, chewing jowls, paddling legs, whining and growling makes us wonder, what our dogs are dreaming about?
What we know about dog dreams
According to MIT news. Matthew Wilson a professor of neuroscience at MIT, and Kenway Louie a graduate student in 2001, in their study about the relation between memory, sleep, and dreams. They found that the rats they trained to run a circular track in exchange for food, manifested a distinctive firing pattern of neurons. The researchers monitored their brains while they were sleeping and observed the same signature brain activity associated with the running pattern.
Can we apply this to dogs?
Wilson believes that we can.’ My guess is unless there is something special about rats and humans, that cats and dogs are doing exactly the same the thing.’ he stated according to USA Today’s website.
The hippocampus, the fragment of the brain responsible of the collection of storage of memories, is wired the same way for all mammals.
Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for humans according to the National Institute of Health. Dogs experience REM as well, Psychology Today’s website says that their breathing becomes shallow and irregular during these periods, in addition to muscle twitching in some cases.
When we admire our sleeping dogs and how they act, we can’t help ourselves but think how they are not dreaming, just like the rats in Wilson and Louie’s experiment, it is tempting to believe that our canine fellows are evoking past experiences