Indian American records brain dialogue during sleep

Monday, 09 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New York: A team of neuroscientists led by an Indian American has recorded groundbreaking recordings of activity in two brain regions during deep sleep. Mayank Mehta, assistant professor of neuroscience at Brown University in Rhode Island, made the startling discovery, according to 'Brown Daily', a student newspaper.

Mehta and his team found that the electrical activity in the brain cells of sleeping mice isn't completely random. They observed a 'dialogue' between the hippocampus and the neocortex areas of the brain where memories are made and stored. According to Mehta, memories are not stored during sleep; instead sleep acts as a way to erase memories and create 'a fresh page' for new memories.

Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island, and was founded in 1764 as Rhode Island College. It is the third-oldest institution of higher education in New England and the seventh oldest in the United States."We've known for a century that the hippocampus and the neocortex are anatomically connected. But this is the first time we've seen the effect of this connectivity in the brains of live animals,"Mehta said.

"The dialogue is quite unexpected and complex, suggesting that this 'simple' brain circuit is much more sophisticated than we imagined," he added. Mehta's work was supported by the Rhode Island Foundation, the Salomon Foundation, the Mental Health Research Association, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Source: IANS
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