A Sleeping Brain Can Be Avoided By Taking Mental Breaks


Do you know that your brains are also sleeping or taking a break during a time of inactivity?

According to the researchers from Stanford University in California, your brain also switches off and on when it is not in use. There is no specific findings yet on which part of the brain that does the mental "naps" or "breaks" but according to scientists, this is a way of the human brain to conserve energy.

When a person is asleep, electrical activities occur in the brain while the neurons switch off and on, and this process is crucial when it comes to resetting the activated neurons used during a day's work. However, a similar activity has also been found on a waking brain. Scientists found that when the brain does not pay attention to a task, neurons don't seem to be responding in heightened activity.

This is what they have tried to prove with the experiment they conducted with monkeys. They monitored the activity of neurons during a time when the brain was active.

"During an on state the neurons all start firing rapidly," explained Professor Kwabena Boahen, a bio- and electrical engineer at Stanford.

"Then all of a sudden they just switch to a low firing rate."

"This on and off switching is happening all the time, as if the neurons are flipping a coin to decide if they are going to be on or off."

This experiment implies that when the brain cells were less active, the monkeys were more likely to miss on cues which also tells that neurons seem to be napping even if the animal is awake. Scientists, though, are still not able to pinpoint why this happens but they said that it could be related to energy conservation.

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