A new study went to analyze dreaming and the causes that lead to it. Research managed to do so by finding the “hot zone”. This is a brain area that can show when a person dreams and what these are about. Study results were published in a paper in the Nature Neuroscience journal.
Sleep And The Reasons Behind Dreaming
Research has yet to establish why people dream or what leads to such an occurrence. As it is, science has not fully understood them. Nonetheless, various theories did emerge and, according to some, dreams could be linked to information processing. More exactly, they could help filter the day’s events and have a role in the formation of memories. Also, most studies associate dreaming with REM sleep or the rapid eye movement stage.
Now, the newest research associated this event with a non-REM phase. As such, this University of Wisconsin-Madison study challenges all the currently withheld theories. Their study included 32 participants. They took electroencephalograph recordings while they were sleeping. Also, they woke them up at various times throughout the night. In doing so, the researchers asked the sleepers if they had been dreaming and about what.
Then, the study team correlated their responses to brain activity patterns. This showed that dreaming can take place during both the REM and non-REM sleep phases. It also seems to take place in an area known as the posterior cortical hot zone, a region at the back of the brain.
A high neural activity was linked with dreams while a low one was associated with their absence.
“What we found is that the posterior “hot zone” is the part of the cortex related to the dreaming experience and to some perceptual contents, such as seeing a face, speech, perception and movement perception.”
While more studies on the matter will still be needed, the team considers that it determined one of the “core” brain regions involved in dreaming.
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