Sleep time to add knowledge to the unconscious, Sleep is a state of rest for the brain that is universal for all animals. It is a common assumption among most people that as a person sleeps, all activities of the brain are brought to a sudden halt. This is however a belief that has been subjected to a lot of research by scientists that that come up with the following assessments according to the findings they gathered.
Research into the article of MSN suggests that out of 75 years that most people are privileged to live, about 26 years of them are spent dreaming. The brain however does not completely switch off from our environment hence this is time that could be made of use constructively to do such things as learn languages.
In accordance with the film inception, DiCaprio gets into the people’s minds via dreams for the purpose of stealing their ideas. This provides us with a real life fact which suggests that sleep time can be as productive or unproductive as any other time of the day.
Research also uncovers a student that recorded himself reading questions and answers aloud during the examination period. He then made a point of listening to it while sleeping. This helped him attain very high scores.
As he joined high-school, he stopped using this particular method of study and consequently his grades slowly began to deteriorate until he got back to his old method of study and there lay the solution to his newly emerging problem.
Another piece of evidence supporting this research is how we wake up easily when we get to hear our own names being called out, or the sounds of particular sounds such as that of an alarm clock and that of a fire alarm. This shows that there are certain complex stimuli that can be processed in the same way when we are asleep as when we are wide awake.
It is common knowledge that when a person is asleep, they can not coordinate tasks such as driving a vehicle which would involve integration of a broad variety of information at the same time, for instance making rapid decisions involving when to turn and change directions, when to stop suddenly and others.
It was however tested to find out whether the brain could automate complex chores just like how one could make use of autopilot to drive you home. It was also aimed at investigating whether the processes could continue in the brain after the onset of sleep. So another research involving 2 tasks was carried out.
The first task, participants got to categorize spoken words into those used to refer to objects such as “hat”, “tree” and those used to refer to animals for instance “cat”, “dog”. For the second task, real words were used for instance “hammer”, “food” as well as other words that are pronounced but not found in the dictionary like “fabu”.
The participants were then asked to indicate the category of the words they heard by either pressing a button on the right or that on the left side. After a few rounds of doing this challenge, the task became more automated and so the participants were allowed to sleep but continue responding as appropriate. The room was even made darker to facilitate faster sleeping process for them.
EEG electrodes were then places on their heads to monitor their state of vigilance. Once the participants slept, new words were presented to them from the same categories without disturbing the flow of words they were hearing in their wake state of mind.
This was meant to force them to extract the meaning of the word, that is for the first task, or to check the word and find out whether it was part of the lexicon, that is for the second task which would then enable them to respond as required. When asleep, the participants could definitely no longer press the buttons and so to check whether their brains were still responding to the words, the brain was the one monitored for activity.
Planning to press the button on the left involved the right hemisphere of the brain whereas planning on pressing the right button involved the left hemisphere of the brain. By looking at the lateralization of the brain activity in motor areas, it is possible to tell whether a person is planning to give a response and to which particular side they plan to give it.
Applying this concept to the participants who were now fast asleep allowed the researchers to show that even during sleep, the brain continues to routinely prepare for a response to the right or the left side according to the meaning of the words they were hearing.
The participants were later woken up, and could interestingly not recall the words the heard during their state of sleep as compared to the ones they heard right before they fell asleep. This shows that they could not only process complex information in their sleep but they did it totally unconsciously.
This findings shed new light to the ability of the brain proving that it can not only process information while asleep but also while being unconscious. This has however brought about a rise in the number of question directed to the functioning of the brain for instance, if it is possible to prepare for action before sleeping, why is it that we do not actually perform them?, can sentences be processed by the brain during the state of sleep? And is it possible for sounds to be incorporated into the dream scenery?
Wrapping up the research on sleep time to add knowledge to the unconscious
Despite the many questions that have arisen from the research process, its findings have helped revive the old-age fantasy of learning during sleep, whereby it is well known that sleep is important to consolidate previously learnt information. Thus therefore sums up sleep as being vital to the brain as total sleep deprivation could lead to death within about 2 to 4 weeks.
Sleep time to add knowledge to the unconscious
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Sleep time to add knowledge to the unconscious