Understanding how the brain functions and communicates

The shape and size of the brain varies greatly between species, and identifying common features is often difficult. Brain tissue in its natural state is too soft to work with, but it can be hardened by immersion in alcohol or other fixativesand then sliced apart for examination of the interior.

Understanding how the brain functions and communicates

Where can I get more information? Introduction Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep — and getting enough of it at the right times -- is as essential to survival as food and water.

Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells neurons communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.

Everyone needs sleep, but its biological purpose remains a mystery. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body — from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.

Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.

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Sleep is a complex and dynamic process that affects how you function in ways scientists are now beginning to understand. This booklet describes how your need for sleep is regulated and what happens in the brain during sleep. Anatomy of Sleep Several structures within the brain are involved with sleep.

The hypothalamus, a peanut-sized structure deep inside the brain, contains groups of nerve cells that act as control centers affecting sleep and arousal.

Within the hypothalamus is the suprachiasmatic nucleus SCN — clusters of thousands of cells that receive information about light exposure directly from the eyes and control your behavioral rhythm.

Some people with damage to the SCN sleep erratically throughout the day because they are not able to match their circadian rhythms with the light-dark cycle. The brain stem, at the base of the brain, communicates with the hypothalamus to control the transitions between wake and sleep.

The brain stem includes structures called the pons, medulla, and midbrain. Sleep-promoting cells within the hypothalamus and the brain stem produce a brain chemical called GABA, which acts to reduce the activity of arousal centers in the hypothalamus and the brain stem. The thalamus acts as a relay for information from the senses to the cerebral cortex the covering of the brain that interprets and processes information from short- to long-term memory.

During most stages of sleep, the thalamus becomes quiet, letting you tune out the external world. But during REM sleep, the thalamus is active, sending the cortex images, sounds, and other sensations that fill our dreams. People who have lost their sight and cannot coordinate their natural wake-sleep cycle using natural light can stabilize their sleep patterns by taking small amounts of melatonin at the same time each day.

The basal forebrain, near the front and bottom of the brain, also promotes sleep and wakefulness, while part of the midbrain acts as an arousal system. Release of adenosine a chemical by-product of cellular energy consumption from cells in the basal forebrain and probably other regions supports your sleep drive.

Caffeine counteracts sleepiness by blocking the actions of adenosine. The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure involved in processing emotions, becomes increasingly active during REM sleep.

Understanding how the brain functions and communicates

Each is linked to specific brain waves and neuronal activity. Stage 1 non-REM sleep is the changeover from wakefulness to sleep. During this short period lasting several minutes of relatively light sleep, your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow, and your muscles relax with occasional twitches.

Your brain waves begin to slow from their daytime wakefulness patterns. Stage 2 non-REM sleep is a period of light sleep before you enter deeper sleep. Your heartbeat and breathing slow, and muscles relax even further.

Your body temperature drops and eye movements stop. Brain wave activity slows but is marked by brief bursts of electrical activity. You spend more of your repeated sleep cycles in stage 2 sleep than in other sleep stages.

Stage 3 non-REM sleep is the period of deep sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning. It occurs in longer periods during the first half of the night.

Your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels during sleep.The Brain Injury Recovery Network has developed this site in an attempt to provide practical, actionable advice for brain injury survivors and families.

Heart-Brain Communication. Traditionally, the study of communication pathways between the head and heart has been approached from a rather one-sided perspective, with scientists focusing primarily on the heart’s responses to the brain’s commands.

Understanding the Nervous System An Engineering Perspective Providing a fascinating alternative to the unwieldy life science sources, this book describes how the nervous system (including the brain) communicates with, sends signals to, and receives input from the sensory organs.

Problem Solving Problem Solving is the Capacity and the Ability to Evaluate Information and to Predict Future Outcomes. The Ability to Seek out Logical Solutions to Problems, Calmly and Systematically, without making things worse.

Decision Making - Cause and Effect. "There are no Problems, only Solutions" Every Problem can be solved, you just have to learn how to solve it.

Understanding how the brain functions and communicates

A neuron is a nerve cell that is the basic building block of the nervous system. Neurons are similar to other cells in the human body in a number of ways, but there is . Human Brain - Neuroscience - Cognitive Science The Human Brain is the most Complex Processer of Information on the monstermanfilm.com ability to Process Information and Store Information,, is what makes us monstermanfilm.comation Defines us, Information Controls us, Information Teaches us.

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Brain - Wikipedia