A version of this claim is present on Wikipedia:
Experiments have shown rats will forgo food to the point of starvation
in order to work for brain stimulation or intravenous cocaine when
both food and stimulation are offered concurrently for a limited time
Notice "Experiments" plural. The sources apparently are:
Routtenberg & Lindy (...
There is a plethora of scientific work that all points towards sleep being very important for the kind of cleanup and reorganisation you are referring to.
Information like this is readily available e.g. at WP:Sleep#Functions. I've enriched this with a couple things I found in the German Wikipedia, not linked from the above "Sleep" page:
1) The brain / ...
TLDR summary: the high-school science summary of thirst regulation (by salt) is correct, but it's quite incomplete as a thirst regulation mechanism in general. In (recent) animal research, faster pathways have been identified, e.g. eating promotes thirst proportional to eating time, well before any salt-induced osmotic changes can affect thirst.
Since the ...
Starve maybe, die of thirst almost certainly.
You are correct, the experiments they are referring to are the series of experiments by James Olds and Peter Milner in the 1950's 60's and 70's that first discovered the pleasure center in The brain and indeed quite possibly the pioneering experiments in behavioral neuroscience.
In specifically this ...
There may actually be some association between respiration and and inner ear in infants. Apart from the sources mentioned in the question, I have found a single other study in Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1990, according to which stimulation of the labyrinth by rocking can help prevent apnea in premature infants:
Some infants seem to be born with a degree ...