Thursday, June 25, 2015

Painfully superfluous

From the link below it is suggested that dolphins can stay awake just using half their brain. In the work with my 'left tongue'  I do not seem to have any of this ability and I am not sure I would want it. The need to constantly swim and monitor other group members and outside threats may have led to the development of this possibly unique talent.

Playing with the left tongue lately has led to a great deal of pain in my heads and jaws as I do not have the ability to seemingly coordinate all the musculature while in the left side dominant mode.
Much of this pain lately has been in the right side where it feels like I am unable for it to take a more passive subordinate role. The pain interferes with my ability to accurately feel what I am doing and seems to enhance the opposite of what I am trying to do.

I may be on a very superfluous endeavor with no real benefit unlike the dolphins. In some ways though it has taken on a life of it's own and I am not sure I could stop playing with it at this hopefully transition point.

Half awake

Like dolphins, bats may continuously echolocate for extended periods [11]; however most seek shelter and sleep during the day. In contrast, dolphins do not appear to sleep like terrestrial mammals. Instead, unihemispheric sleep has been observed, where slow waves are seen from the cerebral cortex and thalamus on one side of the brain while the opposite side of the brain shows awake physiology [12]. One hemisphere maintains sensory awareness and motor control while the other sleeps [13][14][15]. Paradoxical sleep associated with hypotonia and hyporeflexia has not been observed in odontocete cetaceans [16] and would likely result in drowning. Evolutionary pressures selecting for unihemispheric slow wave sleep and the absence of paradoxical sleep, are hypothesized to include: respiratory behavioral demands[13], thermoregulation [17], and continuous vigilance [18]. Dolphins live in cooperative groups and must continuously monitor the location of group members to maintain group cohesion. Even during unihemispheric sleep, where often one eye is closed, the open eye is preferentially gazing in the direction of group members which suggest monitoring group members has a survival advantage [19]. Although predator detection and avoidance will influence vigilant behavior, direct field evidence is difficult to obtain. There is, however, evidence that bottlenose dolphin distribution is modulated by both prey abundance and predation risks, suggesting dolphins monitor their environment for predators [20].

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