Can the sleeping brain create unique people that the waking brain has never seen before?

Can the sleeping brain create unique people that the waking brain has never seen before?

Reader Ella asks: “I read a theory that while dreaming, the brain cannot invent new people out of nowhere. Instead, the brain shows people we've seen while awake, or combines a mix of previously-seen physical features to create a "new" person. How would you prove/disprove this theory? Why does the brain do this?”

Read More

To Sleep, Perchance to Feed the Cat

To Sleep, Perchance to Feed the Cat

We all have an anecdote or two about real-life sensations—the smell of cooking food, the noise of thunderstorms, or the pressure of a full bladder—that made appearances in our dreams. It’s not that rare for external stimuli, when they happen to occur during dream-producing REM sleep, to be incorporated into dream content. Becca Krock discusses one such case, involving dreams, drums, and an impatient cat.

Read More

Brains & Bourbon Ep13 Sleep

This week on Brains & Bourbon, we share a Manhattan with H. Craig Heller who talk us through the "how" and "why" of sleep and explains what hibernating astronauts have in common with ground squirrels. Plus much more!

Dr. Heller is a professor of biology and is the co-director of the Stanford Center for Down Syndrome Research.