Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

What sleep does for your thinking

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It does a lot, as it turns out.

  • As we snooze, our brain is busily processing the information we have learned during the day.
  • Sleep makes memories stronger, and it even appears to weed out irrelevant details and background information so that only the important pieces remain.
  • Our brain also works during slumber to find hidden relations among memories and to solve problems we were working on while awake.

Read the whole article, which begins:

In 1865 Friedrich August Kekulé woke up from a strange dream: he imagined a snake forming a circle and biting its own tail. Like many organic chemists of the time, Kekulé had been working feverishly to describe the true chemical structure of benzene, a problem that continually eluded understanding. But Kekulé’s dream of a snake swallowing its tail, so the story goes, helped him to accurately realize that benzene’s structure formed a ring. This insight paved the way for a new understanding of organic chemistry and earned Kekulé a title of nobility in Germany.

Although most of us have not been ennobled, there is something undeniably familiar about Kekulé’s problem-solving method. Whether deciding to go to a particular college, accept a challenging job offer or propose to a future spouse, “sleeping on it” seems to provide the clarity we need to piece together life’s puzzles. But how does slumber present us with answers?

The latest research suggests that …

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2008 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

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