Brain regions can briefly go ‘off-line’ even while awake, causing errorsApril 28th, 2011 - 12:25 pm ICT by ANI
London, April 28 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that some nerve cells in a sleep-deprived yet awake brain can briefly go ‘off-line’ into a sleep-like state, while the rest of the brain appears awake, leading to mistakes.
“Even before you feel fatigued, there are signs in the brain that you should stop certain activities that may require alertness,” said Chiara Cirelli, professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine and Public Health.
“Specific groups of neurons may be falling asleep, with negative consequences on performance,” added Cirelli.
Until now, scientists thought that sleep deprivation generally affected the entire brain. Electroencephalograms (EEGs) show network brain-wave patterns typical of either being asleep or awake.
“We know that when we are sleepy, we make mistakes, our attention wanders and our vigilance goes down,” said Cirelli.
“We have seen with EEGs that even while we are awake, we can experience shorts periods of ‘micro sleep’,” added Cirelli.
Periods of micro sleep were thought to be the most likely cause of people falling asleep at the wheel while driving, said Cirelli.
But the new research found that even before that stage, brains are already showing sleep-like activity that impairs them, she said.
The study is detailed in the current issue of Nature. (ANI)
- Tiny parts of brain take short naps to recharge - Apr 28, 2011
- Lack of sleep during adolescence skews brain wiring - Oct 10, 2011
- Snoozing 4 hours a night causes acute sleep deprivation - Aug 10, 2010
- Sleep may be the price you pay for brain to remain plastic the next day - Aug 26, 2008
- Keeping awake eases impact of traumatic events - Jan 18, 2012
- Naps between drives cut drowsiness level - Apr 20, 2011
- Why women always fall asleep during movies - Nov 20, 2010
- Higher brain rhythm linked to increased sleep fragility - Mar 04, 2011
- Starvation and sleep-deprivation may keep brain sharp - Sep 01, 2010
- French research shows humans repeat day's activity while asleep - Mar 26, 2011
- Sleep really does help when it comes to recalling memories - Nov 02, 2010
- Video shows people can 'replay' day's activity in sleep - Mar 27, 2011
- How brain switches from a wakeful to a sleeping state - Sep 15, 2010
- Sounds, smells help people learn while asleep? - Aug 27, 2012
- Dream content measured for first time - Oct 30, 2011
Tags: alertness, brain regions, brain wave patterns, brains, current issue, london, medicine, negative consequences, nerve cells, periods, psychiatry, school of medicine, scientists, signs, sleep, sleep deprivation, university of wisconsin, university of wisconsin madison, vigilance, wheel