A new study of cats may show that sleeping is good for the neurons that build memories in our brain. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine experimented with two sets of cats. One set received 12 hours of visual stimulus, and the other got six hours of visual stimulus followed by six hours of sleep. The cats who received some snooze time remembered visual stimuli better than the sleepless cats.
Other factors such as tension and fatigue, however, may be at work too. One of the researchers says it’s also not likely that maximizing sleep gives you a brilliant memory.
Why cats? Researchers say felines and humans respond in a similar way neurologically to visual stimuli. For many cat owners, the strange part of the study is not that the researchers used cats, but that they researchers somehow kept domestic cats awake for 12 hours without a nap. How did they do it—all-day catnip ingestion?