Promising Research in Sleep Studies

A recent study from Stanford University delves deeper into the long-suspected theory that the brain stays quite active when people daydream, and even sleep.


Stanford’s Josef Parvizi and his team went to study epileptic patients going into surgery for their condition. By using electrodes placed  in patients’ brains by doctors to locate the source of their seizures, Parvizi’s team was able to monitor brain activity.


His team asked patients a series of simple yes or no questions while they were awake and asleep. To answer even simple questions, people must retrieve a variety of facts and memories. These facts and memories are known as episodic memories.


Two areas of the brain coordinate in a highly effective network to retrieve these episodic memories. This coordination was found while patients were awake and asleep, with the same questions being asked.


Parvizi adds, in an interview with NPR, that the brain works to maintain relationships and networks within the brain that have worked together recently. This cooperation requires a lot of energy. He says “Any brain is designed in such a way that it’s using a lot of energy at what we call a resting state. So it’s not really a resting brain.”


So, the conclusion of Parvizi’s study, which can be found in the journal Neuron, is that a body at rest certainly doesn’t mean a mind at rest.