611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net
Health Sciences
Basic InformationLatest News
Scientists Create Embryos With Cells From Monkeys, Humans'Game of Thrones' Study Reveals the Power of Fiction on the MindScientists Create Human Tear Glands That Cry in the LabAHA News: How Grief Rewires the Brain and Can Affect Health – and What to Do About ItCould Taking a Swing at Golf Help Parkinson's Patients?Autopsy Study May Explain Why Some COVID Survivors Have 'Brain Fog'Gene Study Probes Origins of Addison's DiseaseCould a Common Prostate Drug Help Prevent Parkinson's?AHA News: Hormones Are Key in Brain Health Differences Between Men and WomenNerve Drug Might Curb Spinal Cord Damage, Mouse Study SuggestsIs There a 'Risk-Taking' Center in the Brain?AHA News: Dr. Dre Recovering From a Brain Aneurysm. What Is That?Can 2 Nutrients Lower Your Risk for Parkinson's?New Clues to How Cancers Originate in the BrainBrain May Age Faster After Spinal Cord InjuryScans Reveal How COVID-19 Can Harm the BrainWhat Loneliness Looks Like in the BrainNeurologists Much Tougher to Find in Rural AmericaCOVID-19 Survival Declines When Brain Affected: StudyAs Testing Costs Rise, Neurology Patients May Skip ScreeningGene Therapy Shows No Long-Term Harm in Animals: StudyCould Gene Therapy Cure Sickle Cell Disease? Two New Studies Raise HopesCocoa Might Give Your Brain a Boost: StudyLockdown Loneliness Could Worsen Parkinson's SymptomsChildhood Lead Exposure Tied to Brain Changes in Middle AgeStaying Social Can Boost Healthy 'Gray Matter' in Aging BrainsDNA Analysis Might Reveal Melanoma RiskGenetics Might Explain Some Cases of Cerebral PalsyDiabetes Drug Metformin May Protect the Aging BrainNew Research Links Another Gene to Alzheimer's RiskYour Sex Affects Your Genes for Body Fat, Cancer, Birth WeightExperimental Drug Shows Promise Against ALSCould Gene Therapy Stem the Damage of Parkinson's?Genetic Research May Help Identify Causes of StillbirthBlood Test Heralds New Era in Alzheimer's DiagnosisMore Clues to the Genes Behind Hearing LossScientists Move Closer to Mapping Entire Human GenomeBlood Test May Reveal Concussion Severity With Accuracy of Spinal TapDeep Brain Stimulation May Slow Parkinson's, Study FindsStroke, Confusion: COVID-19 Often Impacts the Brain, Study ShowsYour Genes May Affect How You'll Heal If WoundedEven Without Concussion, Athletes' Brains Can Change After Head Jolts: StudyHealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: For Patients, Promise and Challenges Ahead">HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: For Patients, Promise and Challenges Ahead
Blood Test Might Predict Worsening MSKeto Diet Might Change Your Gut in More Ways Than OneParkinson's Patient Improving After First-Ever Stem Cell TherapyKey Areas of the Brain Triggered in Recent Heart Attack SurvivorsFirst Good Evidence That Brain Hits 'Replay' While You SleepSome NFL Players May Be Misdiagnosed With Brain Disease: StudyGreenhouse Gases Bad for Your Brain
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Medical Disorders
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions

First Good Evidence That Brain Hits 'Replay' While You Sleep

HealthDay News
by By Amy NortonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 5th 2020

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If you've ever wondered what your brain is doing while you sleep, a new study gives the first direct evidence that it's busy "replaying" our waking experiences.

The finding comes from a research project called BrainGate, which is testing new technology for people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb. Participants have "micro-electrodes" implanted in their brains, to allow them to exert mind control over assistive devices or prosthetic limbs.

The work also let researchers catch a glimpse of what happens in the brain during rest -- specifically after participants had played a new game. It turned out that the same brain cells that were firing during the game kept firing as people drifted into light sleep.

In a nutshell, the brain seemed to be "replaying" the experience, said researcher Beata Jarosiewicz, a senior scientist at NeuroPace, Inc., a California-based company that makes implantable medical devices.

That's not direct proof that sleep helps us consolidate memories or learn more efficiently, Jarosiewicz emphasized. But, she said, the findings add to the list of reasons to get enough rest.

"Sleep is important for many reasons, including your brain function," she said.

The findings, published May 5 in the journal Cell Reports, are not surprising.

Based on past research in animals and humans, researchers have believed that replay happens during sleep, according to Dr. Phyllis Zee, a sleep researcher who was not involved in the study.

But past studies of humans have used non-invasive recordings of brain activity. And they've looked at broader patterns of "collective" brain-cell firing, said Zee, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

Here, she said, researchers were able to zero in on which brain cells were firing. And the same ones that fired during the game fired during the rest period immediately after.

For the study, Jarosiewicz and her colleagues observed two patients who had had micro-electrodes implanted in their brains. Both were paralyzed -- one due to a spinal cord injury, the other to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).

The researchers asked both to play a "sequence-copying" game, which they describe as similar to the 1980s game Simon: Four color panels lit up in different sequences that the players had to repeat. But instead of using their hands to do it, they used their minds.

Before and after each game-playing session, participants had a rest period of about 30 minutes. During that time, they drifted off into early-stage sleep, Jarosiewicz said. Yet their brain cells continued to fire as they did during the game -- as if the cells were replaying the experience.

The study did not dig into whether such replay improved participants' learning or game performance. That's for future research, according to Jarosiewicz. Another question, she said, is whether similar replay happens when we go to sleep at night -- and not just during a catnap.

What's interesting, Zee said, is that the replay activity was present when participants were simply resting and grew stronger once they were dozing.

That raises the possibility that even short rest periods could be a learning aid, she said.

"Maybe if people took a break during the day -- got a little down time -- it might help with memory consolidation," Zee said.

That idea is in line with some advice she often gives patients.

"Just lie back and close your eyes for a while," Zee said. "It calms you down and may help your brain reset."

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more on sleep and memory.