Sleep Science 9 (2016)

Kunjumon Vadakkan
University of Manitoba
Unlike other organs that operate continuously, such as the heart and kidneys, many of the operations of the nervous system shut down during sleep. The evolutionarily conserved unconscious state of sleep that puts animals at risk from predators indicates that it is an indispensable integral part of systems operation. A reasonable expectation is that any hypothesis for the mechanism of the nervous system functions should be able to provide an explanation for sleep. In this regard, the semblance hypothesis is examined. Postsynaptic membranes are continuously being depolarized by the quantally released neurotransmitter molecules arriving from their presynaptic terminals. In this context, an incidental lateral activation of the postsynaptic membrane is expected to induce a semblance (cellular hallucination of arrival of activity from its presynaptic terminal, which forms a unit for internal sensation) of the arrival of activity from its presynaptic terminal as a systems property. This restricts induction of semblance to a context of a very high ratio of the duration of the default state of neurotransmitter-induced postsynaptic depolarization to the total duration of incidental lateral activations of the postsynaptic membrane. This requirement spans within a time-bin of a few sleep-wake cycles. Since the duration of quantal release remains maximized, the above requirement can be achieved only by ceiling the total duration of incidental lateral activations of the postsynaptic membrane, which necessitates a state of sleep.
Keywords Sleep  Mechanism for sleep  Unconsciousness  REM sleep  Anesthetics and sleep  Indispensable nature of sleep  Sleep cycles  Sleep and nervous system  Sleep and brain
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

K‐Lines: A Theory of Memory.Marvin Minsky - 1980 - Cognitive Science 4 (2):117-133.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sleep, Not Rem Sleep, is the Royal Road to Dreams.Alexander A. Borbély & Lutz Wittmann - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):911-912.
Phylogenetic Data Bearing on the Rem Sleep Learning Connection.J. M. Siegel - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):1007-1007.
Rem Sleep = Dreaming: The Never-Ending Story.Corrado Cavallero - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):916-917.
Antecedents of Sleep.Wilse B. Webb - 1957 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 53 (3):162.
Sleep Can Be Related to Memory, Even If Rem Sleep is Not.Giuliana Mazzoni - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):971-971.
Mental Imagery During Sleep.Claude Gottesmann - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):193-193.


Added to PP index

Total views
292 ( #36,486 of 2,507,562 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #47,385 of 2,507,562 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes