The somniloquy hypothesis: How the immature brain learns facts

A while back I wrote about the possible adaptive function of somnambulism or sleep-walking. Well…I’ve come up with yet another hypothesis addressing an “abnormal” behavior falling under parasomnias.

The somniloquy hypothesis: How the immature brain learns factsSomniloquy or sleep-talking can happen during stages of REM or NREM sleep (I’m speaking to the latter). This seemingly bizarre behavior typically occurs in childhood and is outgrown by puberty. Presentation can vary from rhythmic nonsense words to long coherent speeches. No one really knows where it comes from. The most popular answer seems to be because of stress.

We could just leave it at that, but it doesn’t really explain why the behavior came about in the first place (plus stress seems to play more of a role in REM somniloquy anyway). I have a hard time simply writing-off weird behaviors that have managed to stick around for long periods of time. In my head I’m thinking “there’s just gotta be a functional purpose”! Here’s what I think NREM sleep-talking is really all about…[read more at The Quantum Lobe Chronicles]


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