Our Brains Hear Sounds When We Sleep, Study Finds


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Brain News

Researchers at Tel Aviv University studied how our brains hear when we sleep. The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The Study

The researchers implanted electrodes in the brains of epilepsy patients—monitoring activities in different parts of their brains. They collected the data and surveyed the brain’s response to auditory stimulation in sleep and wakefulness, particularly how the cerebral cortex reacts to sound in states of unconsciousness.

The Findings

The results revealed that, during sleep, the brain analyzes the auditory input but is unable to focus on the sound or identify it. Consequently, no conscious awareness ensues, even though we hear when we are asleep.

Towards Interventions

This study on sleep research provides interesting insights into the mystery of consciousness. The researchers look to further research for measuring brain waves in non-invasive monitoring methods (such as EEG) for psychiatric disorders like dementia.

One of the lead researchers, Prof. Yuval Nir, elaborated: “We hope that our findings will serve as a basis for developing effective new methods for measuring the level of awareness of individuals who are supposedly in various states of unconsciousness.

To Know More You May Refer To

Hayat, H., Marmelshtein, A., Krom, A. J., Sela, Y., Tankus, A., Strauss, I., Fahoum, F., Fried, I., & Nir, Y. (2022). Reduced neural feedback signaling despite robust neuron and gamma auditory responses during human sleep. Nature neuroscience25(7), 935–943. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-022-01107-4