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Sleep Roundup

May 27, 2011

New research sheds light on what’s going on in the brains of sleeping teenagers.

Transcript

Unique sleep-prints. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Brainwave patterns in sleeping teenagers remain stable over time, even though their brains are developing rapidly. This according to a report in the Journal of Neuroscience. In the study, 45 young people slept at a lab while the scientists imaged their brainwaves. The volunteers came back to the lab two years later and repeated the process. The researchers were able to match the new readings with the old ones with a high degree of accuracy. They say that doctors may one day be able to look for changes in EEGs over time to help diagnose brain disorders.

In other brain related news, researchers have found that in sleep deprived rats, tiny sections of the brain can fall asleep while other areas remain awake. So even an alert-looking rat may be unable to perform simple tasks, because a few important neurons are fast asleep. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.