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Another theory suggests that monoamine shutdown is required so that the monoamine receptors in the brain can recover to regain full sensitivity. Indeed, if REM sleep is repeatedly interrupted, the person will compensate for it with longer REM sleep, "rebound sleep", at the next opportunity
According to one theory, certain memories are consolidated during REM sleep. Numerous studies have suggested that REM sleep is important for consolidation of procedural memory and spatial memory. (Slow-wave sleep, part of non-REM sleep, appears to be important for declarative memory.) A recent study shows that artificial enhancement of the non-REM sleep improves the next-day recall of memorized pairs of words. Tucker et al. demonstrated that a daytime nap containing solely non-REM sleep enhances declarative memory but not procedural memory. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants can suppress REM sleep and these drugs show no evidence of impairing memory. Some studies show MAO inhibitors improve memory. Moreover, one case study of an individual who had little or no REM sleep due to a shrapnel injury to the brainstem did not find the individual's memory to be impaired. (For a more detailed critique on the link between sleep and memory.
Intimately related to views on REM function in memory consolidation, Mitchison and Crick have proposed that by virtue of its inherent spontaneous activity, the function of REM sleep "is to remove certain undesirable modes of interaction in networks of cells in the cerebral cortex", which process they characterize as "unlearning". As a result, those memories which are relevant (whose underlying neuronal substrate is strong enough to withstand such spontaneous, chaotic activation), are further strengthened, whilst weaker, transient, "noise" memory traces disintegrate.
originally posted by: BloodSister
I've had a few lucid dreams which in them I was singing, but after them dreams each time I've noticed how I've got better after each dream. [...] Is this a known dream fact or anything?
Lucid dreams, in which people are aware of and can control their dreams, are rare. But now scientists have found they can induce this weird state of mind in people by zapping their brains with a specific frequency of electricity.
"I never thought this would work," said study researcher Dr. John Allan Hobson, a psychiatrist and longtime sleep researcher at Harvard University. "But it looks like it does."
The results showed that when the inexperienced dreamers were zapped with a current of 40 Hertz, 77 percent of the time these participants reported having what were described as lucid dreams.
Over four nights, they applied the 30-second bolts of electrical currents to the participants' scalps, two minutes after the participants had entered the dreaming stage of sleep, as shown by their brains' activity patterns. The frequency of stimulation varied from 2 Hz to 100 Hz, and sometimes the researchers didn't actually deliver any electrical currents. The participants were then immediately woken up to report their dreams to an interviewer who wasn't aware of which stimulation they had received.