Enhanced Humans

MIT Scientists Use Optogenetics To Trigger REM Sleep In Mice

  • In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe how they were able to trigger a period of rapid eye movement (REM), otherwise known as dream sleep, in mice, using a technique that shines light directly on mouse neurons
  • Sleep helps the brain recuperate and restore itself, as well as allow it to process memories. It also helps to ensure that the body’s immune and other systems work properly
  • The different stages of natural sleep provide different benefits, says the team’s leader, Emery Brown, the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering at MIT. Studies in rodents have shown that learning occurs during REM sleep, for example, while slow wave sleep, also known as non-REM stage three, is most important for feeling rested and refreshed

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