We’re not sure if this means we should be sleeping while at work, or working while we’re asleep at home…
We think we’ll sleep on it before making a decision.
It’s hard not to imagine such an end-game when reading about a fascinating new paper proving sensible (or “task-relevant”) neural responses in the sleeping brain. They think we can do basic processing and, perhaps, even math in our sleep; how many Bitcoin hash files do you think you could break over 40 solid winks?
The study itself was remarkably simple. Participants were fitted with electrodes that read brain activity, then asked a series of categorization questions. In one experiment they were asked to categorize words as either animals or objects, in another as either words or pseudo words, but in both cases they made their choice by pressing a button with either the left or right hand. This physical intention, to move either the left or right hand, is easily distinguishable in brain scans. More importantly, something called the lateralized readiness potential lets them see this left-right intention even if the user never actually moves either hand at all.