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Adaptive sleep loss in polygynous pectoral sandpipers


Lesku, J A; Rattenborg, N C; Valcu, M; Vyssotski, A L; Kuhn, S; Kuemmeth, F; Heidrich, W; Kempenaers, B (2012). Adaptive sleep loss in polygynous pectoral sandpipers. Science, 337(6102):1654-1658.

Abstract

The functions of sleep remain elusive. Extensive evidence suggests that sleep performs restorative processes that sustain waking brain performance. An alternative view proposes that sleep simply enforces adaptive inactivity to conserve energy when activity is unproductive. Under this hypothesis, animals may evolve the ability to dispense with sleep when ecological demands favor wakefulness. Here, we show that male pectoral sandpipers (Calidris melanotos), a polygynous Arctic breeding shorebird, are able to maintain high neurobehavioral performance despite greatly reducing their time spent sleeping during a 3-week period of intense male-male competition for access to fertile females. Males that slept the least sired the most offspring. Our results challenge the view that decreased performance is an inescapable outcome of sleep loss.

Abstract

The functions of sleep remain elusive. Extensive evidence suggests that sleep performs restorative processes that sustain waking brain performance. An alternative view proposes that sleep simply enforces adaptive inactivity to conserve energy when activity is unproductive. Under this hypothesis, animals may evolve the ability to dispense with sleep when ecological demands favor wakefulness. Here, we show that male pectoral sandpipers (Calidris melanotos), a polygynous Arctic breeding shorebird, are able to maintain high neurobehavioral performance despite greatly reducing their time spent sleeping during a 3-week period of intense male-male competition for access to fertile females. Males that slept the least sired the most offspring. Our results challenge the view that decreased performance is an inescapable outcome of sleep loss.

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40 citations in Web of Science®
41 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 09:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:36
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
Number of Pages:5
ISSN:0036-8075
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1220939
PubMed ID:22878501

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