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Scientists Decipher Activity of the Brain in Deep Sleep

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Image of an active human brain.

A team at Switzerland's University of Geneva is deciphering the neuronal mechanisms of memory consolidation, using a unique system that decodes brain activity during sleep.

Cerdit: pixologicstudio/Thinkstock

A new system can decode the brain's activity during sleep to analyze memory consolidation.

Scientists at Switzerland's University of Geneva (UNIGE) blended artificial intelligence, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electroencephalography to examine the sleeping brain's ability to assess memories in order to store only the most useful ones.

The team placed participants in an MRI in the early evening and had them play a face-recognition game and solve a three-dimensional maze; participants were unaware only one game could be won.

The subjects then slept in the MRI for one or two hours as their brain activity was again recorded, and UNIGE's Virginie Sterpenich said patterns observed in deep sleep indicated their brains were reliving only the game won by reactivating regions used during wakefulness.

Tests showed that when participants performed better, more brain regions related to the game were activated during their subsequent sleep.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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