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April 17, 2017 AT 10:00 am

Study shows insights into what happens in the brain while dreaming

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Via New Atlas

For centuries, the role of dreaming has been a compelling mystery that has stumped scientists. Why do we dream? What is going on in our brains when we dream? Recent research has revealed significant new insights and points toward an entirely new understanding of the complex neurological processes involved in dreaming, ultimately revealing the activity of our brain while dreaming to be similar to that seen in waking states.

The new study from scientists at the Wisconsin Institute of Sleep and Consciousness offers us several novel insights into what’s happening inside our brains while we dream. The study countered preexisting ideas about the connection between Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and dreaming, finding that dreams can equally occur during both REM and non-REM sleep.

The study also found that while the activity of dreaming causes several parts of the brain to spark, there is always a “hot zone” of high frequency electrical activity occurring in posterior cortical regions of the brain when dreaming is taking place. The activity in this region was considered by researchers as correlating with conscious experiences in sleep.

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