So far, only mammals and birds have been proven to dream. But now, the same team of neuroscientists who first discovered REM sleep behavior in birds has found similar patterns in another animal: jumping spiders. It suggests that dreaming — or something like it — might be more common than once thought.
The New Study and REM
A new (and genuinely adorable) study used the transparent exoskeletons of juvenile jumping spiders to track their eyes. At the same time, when they slept, they experienced rapid eye movement (REM). REM sleep is characterized by rapid eye movements, increased brain activity, and vivid dreams. It’s believed to be essential for memory and learning. During REM sleep, your breathing and heart rate also increases.
A Sleeping Spider
Dr. Daniela Rößler of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior explained what a sleeping spider looks like. According to her, a spider usually begins the night by finding a safe place to perch. Next, they produce silk anchors from this spot in a zig-zag pattern, then drop them to the ground on a thin strand of silk. The entire time, they continue grooming themselves. Frequently, in pretty regular intervals, it seems like people can observe phases where there are erratic movements of the abdomen, spinnerets, or individual legs. These phases can be as mundane as one, two, or three legs noticeably twitching, or they can be extreme with all eight legs curled up, making it look like the spider’s dead.
The Eye Movement of Sleeping Spiders
Researchers studied nighttime footage of 34 juvenile jumping spiders, as they slept on camera, to watch for changes in their retinal tubes, which can move to adjust their gaze. Although jumping spiders can’t move their eye lenses, they do have retinal tubes that can move to adjust their eye focus. In addition, an animal’s sleeping patterns indicate where they are in the REM cycle. About the issue of whether spiders dream, there isn’t any conclusive evidence yet, but Rößler feels quietly confident that they do.
Apple products have always created a buzz in the tech-loving community. The 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) by Apple introduced the latest features people can look forward to.
One of the most significant additions Apple announced at WWDC 2020 is the addition of widgets to iPhone and iPad home screens. Since the creation of the first iPhone, the home screen has been pretty limited. You could either have all your apps in one place or create folders with apps in them. Now you will be able to add widgets to customize your home screen precisely to your needs. These widgets will transform the look of the Apple home screen, and they can be resized to fit alongside whichever apps you would like. Android phones have done this for years, but Apple users will finally have the same feature.
A New Messaging Style
The iMessage function will become much more familiar to people who use Whatsapp. Conversations using iMessage won’t be so confusing in the future as you can directly address contacts in group messages. Even if they have muted the group conversation, they will be pinged if mentioned directly by somebody. You will also be able to pin certain conversations to the top of your iMessage screen, meaning they will always be easily accessible.
Sleep Tracking on Apple Watch
The Apple Watch has been focused on fitness and health for quite some time, but now it comes with a new feature for people concerned about their sleep. Users of Apple Watches can now track their sleep more accurately as well as create bedtime routines. The screen will tone itself down during your ‘bedtime’ so it won’t burn your retinas when you accidentally turn it on in the middle of the night.
While these added features have been available for customers of other tech companies, now is the time for Apple to join the party.