Dreamless Nights—Brain Activity at NREM

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The association amid rapid eye movement sleep and dreaming are well recognized – however the fact that consciousness is diminished at times of non-rapid eye movement sleep is not recognized. Currently, researchers from Universities of Belgium, Paris and Montreal examined NREM sleep along with the theory that this phenomenon is linked with augmented modularity of the brain’s mechanism during these periods. Appling functional clustering – that estimates how integration is sequentially organized across and within the constituent components of a system. They discovered that during NREM sleep; sequentially organized large scale neural links were segmented into small autonomous modules. The investigators submitted that this dissimilarity might decrease the capability of the brain to incorporate information, hence accounting for the declining consciousness which one faces while in NREM sleep.

Led by Habib Benali & Pierre Maquet, the crew experienced a basic challenge in framing their study. Maquet initially notes that there is presently no consent on what consciousness actually is, let alone about its occurrence. Since many years, Giulio Tononi puts forward the theory of consciousness being linked to the capability of the brain to incorporate information. Their objective was just to verify the theory, applying various new tools permitting for the calculation of information exchange within the brain as well as a set of fMRI/EEG data tracked in the similar individuals during deep NREM sleep and wakefulness.

The latter states that the condition is linked with the most declining conscious content in general human volunteers. He also notes that the team uses procedures which are devised by Benali. These permit us to calculate the sequential organization of information. The data itself was obtained in Liege. Carrying simultaneous fMRI/EEG tracks in sleeping volunteers is not that simple.


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