HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers: Deep sleep short-circuits brain's grid of connectivity

MADISON - In the human brain, cells talk to one another through the routine exchange of electrical signals. But when people fall into a deep sleep, the higher regions of the brain - regions that during waking hours are a bustling grid of neural dialogue - apparently lose their ability to communicate effectively, causing consciousness to fade.

Writing today (Sept. 30) in the journal Science, a team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of psychiatry Giulio Tononi reports that the fading of consciousness during dreamless sleep seems to occur as the different regions of the cerebral cortex that mediate perception, thought and action become functionally disconnected.

Tononi and his team observed the disconnect when brief, magnetically generated pulses of electricity were directed to specific regions of the brain. The pulses stimulated an electrochemical response from the targeted cells, which, when the subject was awake, rippled across the brain, traveling along networks of nerve fibers to different cerebral destinations. But when the subject was in deep sleep, the same response was quickly extinguished and did not travel beyond the stimulated cells.

When consciousness fades, according to Tononi, "the brain breaks down into little islands that can't talk to one another."

The new findings are important because they provide the first direct clues about how the brain alters the state of consciousness during sleep. Consciousness is a scientifically murky realm as little research has been conducted on how the brain sustains and alters the various states of mind. Tononi, one of the few scientists exploring the frontiers of consciousness, has theorized that conscious thought depends on the brain's ability to integrate information.

"Sleep is the most familiar alteration of consciousness," he says. "It happens every night to all of us. Every night, when you fall into deep sleep, your consciousness usually fades."
'"/>

Contact: Giulio Tononi
gtononi@wisc.edu
608-263-6063
University of Wisconsin-Madison
29-Sep-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Acute sleep deprivation leads to changes in nighttime urine production for men and women
2. Better sleep may put Huntingtons disease sufferers back on track
3. Chronically sleep deprived? You cant make up for lost sleep
4. Slow wave activity during sleep is lower in African-Americans than Caucasians
5. Sleepless for science: Flies show link between sleep, immune system in Stanford study
6. Pioneering research on sleeping sickness wins MERIAL Award for Parasitology
7. To sleep, perchance to dream: New insight into melatonin production
8. Laying sleeping sickness to rest
9. Individual differences in a clock gene predict decline of performance during sleep deprivation
10. First biomarker for human sleepiness identified in fruit flies
11. New study suggests promising drug combinations for sleeping sickness

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... its vendor landscape is marked by the presence of ... is however held by five major players - 3M ... these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the global ... leading companies in the global military biometrics market boast ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand ... Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to ... symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface electromyography (sEMG) ... tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter phase III ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² (Accelerate Brain ... adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be Dr. Brian ... to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² Brain Cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: