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Brain structure generates pockets of sleep within the brain (mit.edu)
63 points by phodo on Oct 20, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

The more I learn about the brain, the more unlikely it seems that proponents of extreme polyphasic sleep are correct.

Or that the proponents of confirmation bias are incorrect...

Brains are good at habits and patterns. If you start to nap every day at 2pm, you will begin to crave that nap every day until you de-condition yourself from it. Not necessarily damaging or wrong or broken, just different patterns.

Specifically, the claim that you can get all the sleep you need if you just get your 15 min of REM each session. There's so much more going on than just REM. Really, there's no good evidence for the claim that only REM is required. Meanwhile sleep problems can have a huge impact on health.

Very interesting, the silicon equivalent is a power saving measure, the brain seems to have other uses for local reduction of activity.

Neat, brain waves seem like the brain's global dispatch system.

Is there any suggestion that regions of brain communicate wirelessly (or "chemicallessly")?

I always thought brain waves are only artifacts of the flow of electrons within the brain - a moving charge creates an EM field. In the same way one could talk about "CPU waves" - EM emissions generated by electricity flowing through the processor.


One of the most important ways the brain communicates is actually not just ionically through chemo-ionic channels but through summed wave activity. This is especially important in sleep and also during long term potentiation of circuits.

I don't see anything in this article implying that the brain actually reads the "summed wave activity" somehow; as far as I understand, everything here is just a description of how we measure and interpret EM fields generated by charges flying around in the brain. Is there any study that shows that some parts of the brain treat EM waves generated elsewhere as input?

Buzsaki argues, in this book, that brain waves are the method that the brain uses to coordinate activity in different regions of the brain. (High-frequency waves coordinate the activity of small areas, low-frequency waves coordinate the activity of large areas.)


If you're curious about brain waves, I highly recommend this book. It is fascinating.

Off the top of my head, the closest thing I could think of that would be "wireless" is the endocrine system, specifically the pineal gland. It secretes melatonin that affects other systems, but is not directly wired to them.

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