If , what is the value of ?
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No one knows what purposes, if any, dreams serve, although there are a number of hypotheses. According to one hypothesis, dreams are produced when the brain is erasing “parasitic connections” (meaningless, accidental associations between ideas), which accumulate during the day and which would otherwise clog up our memories. Interestingly, the only mammal that does not have rapid eye movement sleep, in which we humans typically have our most vivid dreams, is the spiny anteater, which has been seen as anomalous in that it has a very large brain relative to the animal’s size. This fact provides some confirmation for the parasitic-connection hypothesis, since the hypothesis predicts that for an animal that did not dream to have an effective memory that animal would need extra memory space for the parasitic connections.
The parasitic-connection hypothesis, if true, most strongly supports which one of the following?
(A) The animals with the smallest brains spend the most time sleeping.
(B) Immediately after a person awakens from normal sleep, her or his memory contains virtually no accidental associations between ideas.
(C) When a mammal that would normally dream is prevented from dreaming, the functioning of its memory will be impaired.
(D) Insofar as a person’s description of a dream involves meaningful associations between ideas, it is an inaccurate description.
(E) All animals other than the spiny anteater dream.
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