Friday, April 3, 2009

Just a Quick Note

Today's issue of Science Magazine released on line contained a very interesting article, related to sleep and learning. It found that when we sleep, or at least when fruit flies sleep, activity in the brain actually destroys nerve connections! Now don't go overboard here, this is a necessary step in our ability to retain memories. You see, the amount of information our brains receive every day is enormous. Most of this information is 'junk'. As an example, do you remember what the close you were wearing yesterday felt like against your skin? Of course not! That information is deemed 'unnecessary' by the brain. This article may very well have found the mechanism as to what occurs for our brains to do it's 'daily house cleaning' as we sleep.

This activity makes room for the much more important information to be retained for storage into long term memory. How the brain decides which connection to destroy and which to leave is still unknown.

Just thought this was interesting in light of my last few postings!

2 comments:

Dr. Andrés said...

During fetal development, the "skin" that exists between AND connecting our fingers together dies. This enables the fingers to become individual, independently moving structures. Therefore, "cell death" can be a useful thing as in the death of certain or cellular disconnections between nerves.

Dr. Steve said...

Absolutely, my dear friend!! It seems that the more science understands, it becomes more obvious that death is an integral part of life. Necessary, inseparable 'consequence' of life itself. Without it, life quickly becomes extremely improbable.



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