PerspectiveNeuroscience

Synaptic scaling in sleep

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Science  03 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6324, pp. 457
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7917

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Summary

Sleep appears to be a universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom (1) and lack of sleep leads to severe cognitive disruption (2). Yet, the biological function of sleep is unknown. On pages 507 and 511 of this issue, de Vivo et al. (3) and Diering et al. (4), respectively, provide a peek into the nightlife of synapses, the neural connections in the nervous system. The studies reveal substantial alterations in the structure and molecular machinery of synapses during sleep.