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Brain regions can take short naps during wakefulness, leading to errors
Date:4/27/2011

nces to the local sleep episodes.

"When we prolonged the awake period, we saw the rats start to make mistakes," Cirelli says.

When animals were challenged to do a tricky task, such as reaching with one paw to get a sugar pellet, they began to drop the pellets or miss in reaching for them, indicating that a few neurons might have gone off line.

"This activity happened in few cells," Cirelli adds. "For instance, out of 20 neurons we monitored in one experiment, 18 stayed awake. From the other two, there were signs of sleepbrief periods of activity alternating with periods of silence."

The researchers tested only motor tasks, so they concluded from this study that neurons affected by local sleep are in the motor cortex.


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Contact: Dian Land
dj.land@hosp.wisc.edu
608-261-1034
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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