The evidence comes from a study, to appear online this month in the journal Human Brain Mapping, of 11 healthy male and female participants whose rapid eye movements (REM) in “dream” sleep were timed using a video camera. The REM tracking was accompanied by special MRI images designed to visualize brain activity.
Results revealed activity in areas of the brain that control sight, hearing, smell, touch, balance and body movements.
“This is the first time we have been able to detect brain activity associated with REM in areas that control senses other than sight,” says lead researcher Charles Hong, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “After comparing our data to other studies on awake people, we learned that our findings lend great support to the view that the waking brain functions in a similar way.”
Hong says this method may allow simultaneous examination of major brain systems that are activated when REMs occur and are reported to be abnormal in some psychiatric diseases.
In addition, Hong says, their method may be useful in people with Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia and even infants. In awake studies, it’s required that subjects follow instructions and perform tasks to stimulate brain activity — tasks that these groups might have difficulty completing.
Their method may also be useful in people with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Finally, Hong says that in order to obtain reliable results from awake participants it would require studying multiple subjects.
“In contrast, only six minutes of MRI data from a single participant in our REM study produced robust results,” says Hong.
He added that the ability to draw results from a single person permits researchers to compare results with other data that is specific to an individual.
“We can also analyze changes over time within a single person with a psychiatric disease. Our method may make a powerful tool to study the development of the brain starting from birth,” he says.
Other researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine include James C. Harris, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Jin-Suh Kim and Vince D. Calhoun of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Xavier Golay, Joseph S. Gillen, Peter C. M. van Zijl and James J. Pekar of the Department of Radiology and F. M. Kirby of the Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Daniel J. Simmonds of the Department of Developmental Cognitive Neurology and David S. Zee of the Department of Neurology. James H. Fallon of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine also contributed to this study.
Eric Vohr | Newswise Science News
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine