Do lizards dream like us? Researchers
have confirmed that lizards exhibit two sleep states, just like humans, other
mammals, and birds. They corroborated the conclusions of a 2016 study on the
bearded dragon and conducted the same sleep investigation on another lizard,
the Argentine tegu. Their findings nevertheless point out differences between
species, which raises new questions about the origin of sleep states. (1)
Dull science. Making humans go to
sleep again, as Wittgenstein postulated.
We should not care about how lizards
dream. But what keeps us awake.
Dreaming of dragons. Breathing fire.
And you will wake up terrified.
Stepping on the small lizard.
Ready to destroy the cosmos…
And give birth to nothingness which will breed chaos into the stagnant pool of existence…
Have you ever tried to recall something just before going to sleep and then wake up with the memory fresh in your mind? While we absorb so much information during the day consciously or unconsciously, it is during shut eye that a lot of facts are dispatched to be filed away or fall into oblivion.
The research team concentrated on a non-REM deep sleep phase (a.k.a. slow-wave sleep) that generally happens throughout the night, in alternation with the REM phase. During slow-wave sleep, groups of neurons firing at the same time generate brain waves with triple rhythms: slow oscillations, spindles, and ripples. Slow oscillations originate from neurons in the cerebral cortex. Spindles come from a structure of the brain called thalamic reticular nucleus and spike around 7-15 per second. Finally, ripples are sharp and quick bursts of electrical energy, produced within the hippocampus, a brain component with an important role in spatial memory.
Scientists believe that the correct timing of these three rhythms acts like a communication channel between different parts of the brains that facilitates memory consolidation.
Scientists at the Center for Cognition and Sociality, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), enhanced or reduced mouse memorization skills by modulating specific synchronized brain waves during deep sleep. The study showed that manipulating sleep spindle oscillations at the right timing affects memory. The full description of the mouse experiments, conducted in collaboration with the University of Tüebingen, is published in the journal Neuron. (1)
Brain networks at rest appear to be waiting in a state of potentiation to execute even the simplest of behaviors, report researchers.
This evidence comes from a new paper published this week in the journal PLoS One, reporting on a study led by professors Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D., at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and Steven L. Bressler, Ph.D., interim director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.
In the study, the researchers used a simple experimental task, having each participant perform a simple motor control behavior (tapping their forefinger to a visual cue) that alternated between behavior and rest. Brain activity was acquired using functional MRI (fMRI).
Using relatively complex modeling of fMRI signals, the team studied brain network interactions between two important brain regions: the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), used for control, and the supplementary motor area (SMA), used for motor movements. In their previous studies, the team highlighted the importance of directional network interactions from the dACC to the SMA during simple motor behavior. In the PLoS One paper, they showed a compelling and opposite effect: during the rest periods that alternated between the motor behavior task, network interactions from the SMA to the dACC were now increased. (1)
Brain activity is always there.
Even what at rest or when sleeping.
We believe that having an active brain is the ultimate goal.
And we train to do what the brain does anyway on its own.
However, having an active brain needs no effort at all.
Blocking the functions of the brain which are always there is difficult. Allowing them to carry on filtering the cosmos is the easy path. Being active so as to let go is difficult. Letting go an allow your brain to think is easy. It’s not the thinking but the non-thinking that requires effort.
Sleep research high-resolution images show how the brain resets during sleep: Striking electron microscope pictures from inside the brains of mice suggest what happens in our own brain every day: Our synapses (the junctions between nerve cells) grow strong and large during the stimulation of daytime, then shrink by nearly 20 percent while we sleep, creating room for more growth and learning the next day. (1)
The violent and sexual media you consume during the day may infiltrate your dreams at night, new research suggests. People who reported consuming violent media within 90 minutes of bedtime were 13 times more likely to have a violent dream that night. (1)
We dream what we see during the day.
We see what we dream during the night.
We are locked into an eternal cycle of elusive dreams.
A cycle determined by only one thing: our own free will.