Birds are some of the most mysterious creatures on the planet. Their ability to fly strikes the imagination and fascinates people. But what happens to birds when they fall asleep? Scientists from Germany and France decided to study this question and came to a surprising conclusion: birds dream of flying.
For the study, the scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging and an infrared camera to observe sleeping pigeons. They paid attention to the fast sleep phase, when the instruments record private eyeball movements and dreamed dreams are remembered. In the slow phase of sleep, the eyes do not move, and dream memories are usually not present.
It turned out that what happens in the brain of birds during sleep is similar to what is observed in animals. In pigeons, the brain area responsible for visual information and the areas that analyze the environment in flight were very active during rapid sleep. But that was not all. The areas associated with body sensation and the reception of signals from the wings were activated. This suggests that pigeons dream about their flight.
Although the brains of birds and mammals are markedly different, their sleep physiology is similar. According to recent research, it’s about the same in humans. This may explain why we often dream about flying or experience freedom in our dreams.
A study by scientists from Germany and France provides a new perspective on the world of birds and their perception of the environment. It also confirms the theory that dreams are an integral part of our lives and are important to our mental and physical health.