For a Better Brain, Sleep Well
While the purpose of sleep is still not perfectly clear, neuroscientists increasingly believe we need sleep to rest the brain, restoring neurons to a restful state in order to learn better.
What's the Latest Development?
By scanning the brains of animals like rats, mice and fruit flies, scientists are arriving at a better understanding of why we need sleep. The scans reveal significant differences in animals that have had a good rest and those that haven't. Without sleep, the brain shows high concentrations of Bruchpilot, which are synaptic protein involved in communication between neurons. Well rested brains show lower levels of Bruchpilot, suggesting that it has been reset to a normal level of synaptic activity and is more ready to learn.
What's the Big Idea?
While an awake brain is more stimulated, our thinking organ cannot handle unbridled activity. Neurons have a threshold past which the communication of information is inhibited. This is why, after a restless night, people say they are unable to concentrate on the day's tasks. By restoring the brain to a restful state, neurons are more prepared to activate the following day and learn from the surrounding environment. The brain's daily rejuvenation process is known as 'synaptic homeostasis.'
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Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.
- Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
- Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
- Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
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