Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 163, Issue 6, pp 729–738 | Cite as

Sleep and EEG spectra in the pigeon (Columba livia) under baseline conditions and after sleep deprivation

  • Irene Tobler
  • Alexander A. Borbély


Sleep in adult domestic pigeons was studied by continuous 24-h recording of the EEG, EMG and EOG. Vigilance states were scored on the basis of behavioral observations, visual scoring of the polygraph records, and EEG power spectra.

The animals showed a clear nocturnal preference for sleep. Throughout the dark period, EEG slow-wave activity was at a uniform level, whereas REM sleep (REMS) showed an increasing trend.

EEG power density values differed significantly between the vigilance states. In general the values were highest in nonREM sleep (NREMS), intermediate in waking (W) and lowest in REMS.

Twenty-four hour sleep deprivation reduced W and increased REMS, effects that are well documented in mammals. Unlike in mammals, EEG slow-wave activity remained unchanged, whereas EOG activity in W and NREMS was enhanced.


Power Spectrum Power Density Sleep Deprivation Baseline Condition Dark Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.









sleep deprivation






light dark


non rapid eye movement sleep


REM sleep


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amlaner CJ Jr, Ball NJ (1983) A synthesis of sleep in wild birds. Behav 87:85–119Google Scholar
  2. Amlaner CJ Jr, McFarland DJ (1981) Sleep in the herring gullLarus argentatus. Anim Behav 29:551–556Google Scholar
  3. Amlaner CJ Jr, Ball NJ, Opp MR, Shaffery JP (1985) Electrophysiological correlates of sleep behavior in birds. Sleep Res 14:3Google Scholar
  4. Ball NJ, Shaffery JP, Opp MR, Carter RL, Amlaner CJ Jr (1985) Asynchronous eye-closure of birds. Sleep Res 14:87Google Scholar
  5. Ball NJ, Amlaner CJ Jr, Shaffery JP, Opp MR (1988) Asynchronous eye-closure and unihemispheric quiet sleep of birds. In: Koella WP, Schulz H, Obál F, Visser P (eds) Sleep 1986. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart New York, pp 151–153Google Scholar
  6. Borbély AA, Neuhaus HU (1979) Sleep deprivation: effects on sleep and EEG in the rat. J Comp Physiol 133:71–87Google Scholar
  7. Borbély AA, Baumann F, Brandeis D, Strauch I, Lehmann D (1981) Sleep deprivation: Effect on sleep stages and EEG power density in man. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 51:483–493Google Scholar
  8. Borbély AA, Tobler I, Hanagasioglu M (1984) Effect of sleep deprivation on sleep and EEG power spectra in the rat. Behav Brain Res 14:171–182Google Scholar
  9. Dewasmes GF, Cohen-Adad F, Koubi H, Le Maho Y (1985) Polygraphic and behavioral study of sleep in geese: existence of nuchal atonia during paradoxical sleep. Physiol Behav 35:67–73Google Scholar
  10. Friedman L, Bergmann BM, Rechtschaffen A (1979) Effects of sleep deprivation on sleepiness, sleep intensity, and subsequent sleep in the rat. Sleep 4:369–391Google Scholar
  11. Goodman IJ (1974) The study of sleep in birds. In: Goodman IJ, Schein MW (eds) Birds: brain and behavior. Academic Press, New York, pp 133–152Google Scholar
  12. Howard BR (1972) Sleep in the domestic fowl. Proc R Soc Med 65:177–179Google Scholar
  13. Karten HJ, Hodos W (1967) A stereotaxic atlas of the brain of the pigeonColumba livia. John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  14. Klein M, Michel F, Jouvet M (1964) Etude polygraphique du sommeil chez les oiseaux. CR Soc Biol 158:99Google Scholar
  15. Lendrem DW (1983) Sleeping and vigilance in birds. In: Koella WP (ed) Sleep 1982. Karger, Basel, pp 134–138Google Scholar
  16. Lendrem DW (1984) Sleeping and vigilance in birds, II. An experimental study of the barbary doveStreptopelia risoria. Anim Behav 32:243–248Google Scholar
  17. Luijtelaar ELJM van, van der Grinten CPM, Blockhuis HJ, Coenen AML (1987) Sleep in the domestic henGallus domesticus. Physiol Behav 41:409–414Google Scholar
  18. Mistlberger R, Bergmann B, Rechtschaffen A (1987) Periodamplitude analysis of rat electroencephalogram: effects of sleep deprivation and exercise. Sleep 10:508–522Google Scholar
  19. Ookawa T (1967) Electroencephalographic study of the chicken telencephalon in wakefulness-sleep and anesthesia. Acta Sch Med Univ GIFU 15:76–85Google Scholar
  20. Ookawa T (1971) Electroencephalograms recorded from the telencephalon of the blinded chicken during behavioral sleep and wakefulness. Poultry Sci 50:731–736Google Scholar
  21. Ookawa T (1972) Avian wakefulness and sleep on the basis of recent electroencephalographic observations. Poultry Sci 51:1565–1574Google Scholar
  22. Ookawa T, Gotoh J (1965) Electroencephalogram of the chicken recorded from the skull under various conditions. J Comp Neurol 124:1–14Google Scholar
  23. Ookawa T, Kadono H (1968) Electroencephalogram of the Japanese quailCoturnix coturnix japonica during non-anesthetized and anesthetized periods. Poultry Sci 47:320–325Google Scholar
  24. Paulson G (1964) The avian EEG: An artifact associated with ocular movement. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 16:611–613Google Scholar
  25. Peters J, Vonderahe A, Schmid D (1965) Onset of cerebral electrical activity associated with behavioral sleep and attention in the developing chick. J Exp Zool 160:255–262Google Scholar
  26. Rojas-Ramirez JA, Tauber ES (1970) Paradoxical sleep in two species of avian predatorFalconiformes. Science 167:1754–1755Google Scholar
  27. Schlehuber CJ, Flaming DG, Lange GD, Spooner CE (1974) Paradoxical sleep in the chickGallus domesticus. Behav Biol 11:537–546Google Scholar
  28. Stahel CD, Megirian D, Nicol SC (1984) Sleep and metabolic rate in the little penguinEudyptula minor. J Comp Physiol B 154:487–494Google Scholar
  29. Sugihara K, Gotoh J (1973) Depth-electroencephalograms of chickens in wakefulness and sleep. Jpn J Physiol 23:371–379Google Scholar
  30. Susic VT, Kovacevic RM (1973) Sleep patterns in the owlStrix aluco. Physiol Behav 11:313–317Google Scholar
  31. Szymczak JT (1985) Sleep pattern in the starlingSturnus vulgaris. Acta Physiol Pol 36:5–6Google Scholar
  32. Szymczak JT (1986a) Sleep pattern in the rookCorvus frugilegus. Acta Physiol Pol 37:191–198Google Scholar
  33. Szymczak JT (1986b) Daily rhythm of sleep-wakefulness in the starlingSturnus vulgaris. Acta Physiol Pol 37:200–206Google Scholar
  34. Szymczak JT (1986c) Seasonal changes of daily sleep pattern in the starlingSturnus vulgaris. J Interdiscipl Cycle Res 17:189–196Google Scholar
  35. Szymczak JT (1986d) Daily distribution of sleep states in the jackdawCorvus monedula. Chronobiology 13:227–235Google Scholar
  36. Szymczak JT (1987a) Seasonal patterns in the daily distribution of sleep and wakefulness of the rookCorvus frugilegus. J Interdiscipl Cycle Res 18:49–57Google Scholar
  37. Szymczak JT (1987b) Daily distribution of sleep states in the rookCorvus frugilegus. J Comp Physiol A 161:321–327Google Scholar
  38. Szymczak JT (1987c) Distribution of sleep and wakefulness in 24-h light-dark cycles in the juvenile and adult magpiePica pica. Chronobiology 14:277–287Google Scholar
  39. Tarao M, Ookawa T (1969) On the electroencephalogram in the unilateral optic enucleated chick. Poultry Sci 48:1516–1517Google Scholar
  40. Tobler I (1985) Deprivation of sleep and rest in vertebrates and invertebrates. In: Inoué S, Borbély AA (eds) Endogenous sleep substances and sleep regulation. VNU Science Press BV, Utrecht (Taniguchi Symposia, Series No 8), pp 57–66Google Scholar
  41. Tobler I, Jaggi K (1987) Sleep and EEG spectra in the Syrian hamsterMesocricetus auratus under baseline conditions and following sleep deprivation. J Comp Physiol A 161:449–459Google Scholar
  42. Trachsel L, Tobler I, Borbély AA (1986) Sleep regulation in rats: effects of sleep deprivation, light, and circadian phase. Am J Physiol 251:R1037-R1044Google Scholar
  43. Trachsel L, Tobler I, Borbély AA (in press) EEG analysis of nonREM sleep in the rat. Am J PhysiolGoogle Scholar
  44. Tradardi V (1964) Studio comportamentale ed elettrofisiologico del sonno nel piccione. Boll Soc Ital Biol 40:769–770Google Scholar
  45. Tradardi V (1966) Sleep in the pigeon. Arch Ital Biol 104:516–521Google Scholar
  46. Twyver H van, Allison T (1972) A polygraphic and behavioral study of sleep in the pigeonColumba livia. Exp Neurol 35:138–153Google Scholar
  47. Tymicz J, Narebski J, Pazur W, Strawinski S (1975) Circadian sleep-wakefulness rhythm of the chaffinchFringilla coelebs. In: Levin P, Koella WP (eds) Sleep 1974. Karger, Basel, pp 285–287Google Scholar
  48. Walker JM, Berger RJ (1972) Sleep in the domestic pigeonColumba livia. Behav Biol 7:195–203Google Scholar
  49. Walker LE, Walker JM, Palca JW, Berger RJ (1983) A continuum of sleep and shallow torpor in fasting doves. Science 221:194–195Google Scholar
  50. Williams RL, Agnew HW Jr, Webb WB (1964) Sleep patterns in young adults: an EEG study. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 17:376–381Google Scholar
  51. Yano J, Oshima S, Gotoh J (1974) Effects of various lighting regimes on diurnal rhythms of EEG components in the chicken. Poultry Sci 53:918–923Google Scholar
  52. Zepelin H, Zammit GK, McDonald CS, Chopp M, Wanzie FJ, Comas MG (1982) Sleep in the domestic duck. Sleep Res 11:90Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Tobler
    • 1
  • Alexander A. Borbély
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmakologisches InstitutUniversität ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations