Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

Brain imaging shows benefits of a good nights' sleep

Posted in Science on 3rd Feb, 2017 05:31 PM by Alex Muller

Electron microscope images of the inside of the brains of mice have given credence to the hypothesis that sleep plays an integral role in our ability to learn new things. The images show that the junctions between neurons, known as synapses, strengthen and grow during waking hours, then shrink by almost 20 percent during sleep.


This opens up more room for them to grow, and learning to take place, when waking the next day.

In an effort to test their "synaptic homeostatis hypothesis (SHY)," which proposes that sleep is the price we pay for the plasticity of our brains, Drs. Chiara Cirelli and Giulio Tononi from the Wisconsin Center for Sleep and Consciousness used serial scanning 3D electron microscopy to capture images of the cerebral cortex of the mouse brain with extremely high spatial resolution.
The research project took four years and involved photographing, reconstructing and analyzing two areas of a mouse brain's cerebral cortex and ultimately resulted in the research team reconstructing 6,920 synapses and measuring their size so as to provide some visual proof of the SHY.
When the researchers correlated the measurements of the synapses with the amount of sleep the mice had in the six to eight hours before the images were taken, they found that, on average, the size of the synapses decreased 18 percent after a few hours' sleep.
"This shows, in unequivocal ultrastructural terms, that the balance of synaptic size and strength is upset by wake and restored by sleep," Cirelli says. "It is remarkable that the vast majority of synapses in the cortex undergo such a large change in size over just a few hours of wake and sleep."
Additionally, such decreases were found in both areas of the cerebral cortex analyzed and were proportional to the size of the synapses. The researchers say that around 80 percent of the synapses exhibited this scaling, with the largest ones remaining unchanged – they suspect this is because those synapses may be associated with the most stable memory traces.
"Extrapolating from mice to humans, our findings mean that every night trillions of synapses in our cortex could get slimmer by nearly 20 percent," says Tononi.

Tags: brainneuroscienceresearchbiologyanatomy

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2017-02-04
Great study! We already have many lines of evidence that a good night's sleep is important for proper daily function of human brain, in particular learning and memory
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2017-02-04
Yes, this study is consistent with such data from humans and, importantly, provides a unique insight into changes at a level of neuronal synaptic connections for the first time Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-03-21 00:36:13
    China versus USA in AI more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-21 00:31:37
    Anti-aging biotech Unity adds $55M as it preps more
    Posted in Software on 2018-03-19 21:43:31
    Artificial Intelligence can spot signs of Alzheimer’ more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-19 21:36:26
    Bitcoin may not last, but blockchain could be the real more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-18 20:36:22
    Study suggests our biological ageing is slowing more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me