“An organism can only do one thing at a time,” report author Michael Nitabach told Yale News.
“What we have discovered is a neuronal connection that regulates the interplay between courtship and sleep.” The research was published yesterday in scientific journal Nature Communications and found that there are particular parts of the fruit fly brain that mediate between the desires for sleep and sex.
Sexually aroused males got little sleep, while aroused females slept more.
The male flies' behavior is easily explained as an adaptive behavior, say the scientists: Falling asleep during sex is not a good way to pass on your genes.
Nitabach speculated that humans may have a similar neural centres.