People tend to fall asleep when gently rocked or vibrated. Experimental studies have shown that rocking promotes sleep in humans and mice. However, the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon are not well understood. A habituation model proposes that habituation, a form of non-associative learning, mediates sleep induction by monotonous stimulation. Here, we show that gentle vibration promotes sleep in Drosophila in part through habituation. Vibration-induced sleep (VIS) leads to increased homeostatic sleep credit and reduced arousability, and can be suppressed by heightened arousal or reduced GABA signaling. Multiple mechanosensory organs mediate VIS, and the magnitude of VIS depends on vibration frequency and genetic background. Sleep induction improves over successive blocks of vibration. Furthermore, training with continuous vibration does not generalize to intermittent vibration, demonstrating stimulus specificity, a characteristic of habituation. Our findings suggest that habituation plays a significant role in sleep induction by vibration.
Recommended CitationÖztürk-Çolak, Arzu; Inami, Sho; Buchler, Joseph R.; McClanahan, Patrick D.; Cruz, Andri; Fang-Yen, Christopher; and Koh, Kyunghee, "Sleep Induction by Mechanosensory Stimulation in Drosophila." (2020). Department of Neuroscience Faculty Papers. Paper 52.
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