Sleeping while awake

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Science  08 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6235, pp. 645-646
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6235.645-c

Sleep deprivation affects our behavior and performance. Bernardi et al. demonstrate the connection between task-specific performance decrease and local sleep in relevant parts of the human brain. During 24 hours of wakefulness, individuals participated in driving simulations and executive function exercises. Their task-related abilities, such as visuomotor control and response inhibition, were tested alongside electroencephalography (EEG) recordings and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Local EEG theta waves, normally observed during sleep, coincided with times of slower movements, visual inaccuracies, and decreased impulse control. The fMRI scans exposed cognitive fatigue in the form of regional neuronal disconnections in the task-relevant brain areas in addition to the general deficiencies.

J. Neurosci. 35, 4487 (2015)

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