Zombies Really Do Come Out at Night

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What truly happens when we fall to sleep? Does the brain ever render unconscious? The answer is essentially yes. In the BBC Horizon video, consciousness is tested through a transcranial magnetic stimulation test. The subject wears electrodes on their head, and those then act as microphones that record the "voices" moving through the brain. Interestingly enough, the results show that our brains network is extremely diverse, as well as integrated. While awake, the brain takes in the stimulus (an electrical shock) and sends it to different parts of the brain at different times. However, while sleeping the shock enters the brain, but the signal remains localized. So what does this really mean?
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It means that while we are sleeping our brain in sense disconnects itself from the other functioning lobes. The part of the brain that receives the signal, keeps it within itself and does not transfer the message to other portions. It seems as though our brain shuts down completely almost, but in reality it's just regenerating itself. I find this completely fascinating because it shows us just how intelligent our brain is. It's a global network that communicates with itself so intricately. Imagine what our lives would be like without our network. Our degree of awareness would be completely off-kilter and each part of the brain would need to be individually stimulated. We'd be the walking dead!

Here are some links on unconciousness and TMS

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I agree with you, I find the fact that our brain is so integrated and can learn new things no matter how old we are. I also find the device used in these participants brain, equally intriguing. How did they think of using electrodes to track the voices heard during a dream? I am sure glad that are brains are able to regenerate at night, because life would be confusing and difficult- maybe impossible- if our brain didn't have the network of communication that it does.

Interesting- this really makes you think about how sleep loss really hinders your ability to recover from the previous day. When the brain regenerates, it builds on what we learned in the brief period before sleep and makes that information more permanent. How much damage are college students undergoing when they don't get enough sleep for the brain to regenerate? Is it fair for colleges to make their curriculum as difficult as they do? Is it so important to get through a program (lets take a pre-med track, for example)quickly and inefficiency or give students more time or a less severe curriculum to ensure that the information is better learned?

Whenever I dream, I feel that I sleep way better than when I don't. When I'm not dreaming, I can sense the surroundings, little sounds, and light. I constantly go into a mood where I can think a little bit and move around, but too tired to be awake kind of situation when I'm not dreaming. So, Dreams ROCK!

Regularly shutting down communication throughout the brain seems strange in terms of dreaming. Most strikingly, if we are unable to relay information across parts of the brain, then dreaming should be a much more difficult process. Visualizing, interpreting, and remembering dreams, as well as being able to feel their effects, all occur throughout the night. If the brain is seemingly asleep, then these processes shouldn't be running harmoniously. The brain is able to contradict itself in its sleep.

I did not know that fact that brain technically stops its functioning while people fall asleep. I wonder how the dreaming is related to this phenomena. As I read the more information article I found out that "the conscious is not just the brain because nothing in the brain produces the I in what I did or when one says I did not know that I did that." Then my question arises how do we produce unintended physical action without consciousness? If anyone know my question please answer me thank you!!

I did not know that fact that brain technically stops its functioning while people fall asleep. I wonder how the dreaming is related to this phenomena. As I read the more information article I found out that "the conscious is not just the brain because nothing in the brain produces the I in what I did or when one says I did not know that I did that." Then my question arises how do we produce unintended physical action without consciousness? If anyone know my question please answer me thank you!!

You posted a really interesting article filled with information that I did not know about before. I find it fascinating how complex our brain is and all the functions we perform but never actually know about or to which we pay attention. I think you brought up some excellent points regarding if we are truly ever unconscious.

So, if people unconsciously receive stimulus while they sleeping and localize the signals only into only parts of the brain, does it mean that people interpret the stimulus different than while they are awake? Since people need entire brain and networks to interpret the signals, I assume that people would have limited ability to interpret the signals. What happens after signals are localized in some parts of the brain?

It's interesting how the the stimulus shocks are localized at night, but clearly there is a threshold as a person usually wakes up due to shaking or loud noises. Also, clearly everyone has different thresholds as some are "light" sleepers while others are "deep" sleepers. I wonder in instances where people have died because they were asleep when their house or apartment started on fired did not wake up due to the fact that their body continued to centralize the stimuli, if the carbon dioxide prevented them from waking up, or both. Also,as it is know that in instances of carbon-monoxide poisoning, the individual(s) fall(s) asleep and die in their sleep, if the carbon-monoxide works by inhibiting the stimuli from leaving the central area as in the case of sleep.

Overall, a nice post. What do you think that it means for the brain not to transfer signals to other parts of the brain?

Your article is really interesting! But as I was reading this, I had some questions about this article.
If our brain in sense disconnects itself from the other functioning lobes, then how the dream works?
Not always, but often we remember what we had dreamed about, and also we can control our behaviors in the dream. If the part of the brain that recieves the signal, does not trasfer the message to other portions, and still we can remember and control ourselves, what is the differences between when brain in sense connects and disconnects?

By far the most interesting thing I learned from Psychology this year is just that the brain is so complicated. It's truly amazing how much the brain actually does and how efficient it is at doing it. I love how all of the different parts of the brain have their separate functions yet all work together and share responsibilities. I'm glad someone else is fascinated by the workings of the brain!

That is so interesting that the brain somewhat stops when dreaming. The brain is truly intriguing and so complex! I agree with zhao0338 when he says that he sleeps better when he's dreaming! So true. Great article!

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This page contains a single entry by ellio338 published on February 15, 2012 2:54 PM.

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