Intensive experimental research is conducted to understand how brain circuits control sleep-wake cycle and consciousness – an enigma in modern Neurosciences and an exciting key mystery to resolve. Together with fellow researcher Carolina Gutierrez Herrera and colleagues from Germany, Adamantidis made a dual discovery: his team identified a new circuit in the brain of mice whose activation causes rapid wakefulness while its inhibition deepens sleep. The study was published in the scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience”.
Adamantidis and Gutierrez Herrera identified a new neural circuit between two brain regions called hypothalamus and thalamus, which have been associated with EEG (electroencephalogram) rhythms during sleep. The activation of this circuit signals the termination of light sleep: using a recent technology called optogenetics, the researchers made neurons from the hypothalamus controllable with millisecond-timescale light pulses and showed that their transient activation during light sleep induced rapid awakenings, while their chronic activation maintains prolonged wakefulness. In contrast, optogenetic silencing of this circuit stabilizes light sleep and increases its intensity. (1)
A “new” circuit.
In an ever changing TV…
Every day we see a new discovery related to how the brain works. And this is accompanied by an intensely implied message that this discovery brings us closer to solving the mysteries of consciousness. Dogmatism disguised as “science” – as if the mere word (“science”) is enough to tag something as “true”.
Every time you read something like that please remember what William James said: What we call “consciousness” can be either produced by the brain or the brain can just be a receiver of consciousness – exactly like a TV is a receiver of signals. And ALL DATA we now have can be supportive to EITHER view! Remember that when a TV breaks, the signal is lost. Does that mean that the TV generates the image? Remember that when you see image on the TV, circuits inside the TV work and electric current flows through it. Does this mean that the TV generates the signal?
Train yourself in philosophy. What is science is not “true”.
In dark ages we are.
Turn off the TV we must.
What is it that makes you you? Are you the image or the signal or the specific circuits that modify the signal or all of that?
To put it another way: when you think about yourself, about whom are you thinking? That implies you can distance yourself from, well, yourself. Who is the observer then?
We can never distance ourselves from our personality, our body, our genes…
How unique are we? Is difference an illusion?