What Happens When You Are Asleep?

Adrian Attard Trevisan is a doctoral researcher for the Institute for Health Research at University of Bedfordshire and Head of Research & Technology  at Sense of Nature Ltd. His background as a Medical Neurophysiologist has resulted in the creation of a system called “Brain Music System”, with over 22 peer reviewed published articles and an academic textbook.

Sleep is Not a Passive Process

There is the misconception that sleep is a passive process in which the only aim of it is to regenerate the cognitive system for the “awaken time”. A number of scientists have over time disagreed with this theory and indeed started looking deeper into what happens within our cognitive system when we are asleep. Looking into the brain when in a sleeping state, it did surprise these scientists as a number of sections that did not have a role in the “awaken brain” suddenly could be observed lighting up on the MRI scans.

Dr. Dinstein published a very interesting study that indicated a diagnostic system for conditions such as autism, basing itself on data achieved by fMRI scans of the brain when the patient is asleep. This strengthens the position that the “sleeping brain” is indeed not a continuation / regenerative system, but holds mysteries and realities that are very different and specific.

Studies by researchers at MIT also came up with the ideology that the sleeping brain should not be measured with the same scale as the awakened brain, as concepts like time are not present when we enter such a mental state.

 

What about Dreams?

 

A recent development within the neuroscience world has been perceived as a huge achievement works to “discover more about the sleeping brain” in 2010. A Japanese professor “Yukiyasu Kamitani” in the Japanese city of Kyoto recreated the first mono colour picture from scratch by analysing the brain signals when someone is thinking of an image or scene. “This means that the mind reading isn’t” limited to a selection of existing images, but could  potentially be used to “read off” anything that someone was thinking , or eventually dreaming of, without prior knowledge of what that might be” stated Dr Kamitani.

“Professor Kamitani starts by getting someone to look at a selection of images made up of black and white squares on a 10 by 10 square grid, while having their brain scanned.

Software then finds patterns in brain activity that corresponds to certain pixels being blacked out. It uses this to record a signature pattern of brain activity for each pixel. This development is being deemed as the tool that will be driving scientists in the coming years to know more about the sleeping brain and how the process behind events such as dreaming “looks and feel like” . Professor Haynes of University of Minnesota has also taken up Kamitani’s work and says that the time “make a videotape of a dream” could be a reality in the very near future.

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