Explain the results of the sleep deprivation assessment.
Part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, has several functions specifically coupled with it. Judgment, impulse control, attention, and visual association have all been related to this region of the cerebral cortex . A recent study has shown that the prefrontal cortex, usually the most active area of the brain in rested individuals, becomes more active as a person remains awake for long periods of time , . This region regenerates during the first stage of sleep, giving a person the ability to feel somewhat refreshed after only a short nap . The length of the first stage of sleep cycle is somewhat dependant upon how long the person had previously been awake. The longer the period of wakefulness, the longer the brain remains in the first stage of sleep. When the brain enters into the REM stage of sleep the prefrontal cortex is active once more.
Causes of Sleep Deprivation Essay - Paper Topics
Even severely sleep deprived people are still able to perform to some degree on a verbal learning test. This implies that some other area of the brain must become active to compensate for the loss of temporal lobe functioning. In fact, activity can be seen in the parietal lobe that is not present during verbal learning tests using rested subjects . Greater activity within this region corresponded to better performance by subjects in research studies . Still, sleep deprived people do not perform as well on these tests as do fully rested subjects , . One possible reason for the poorer performance after missing sleep, aside from unregenerated neurons, could be the fact that since the parietal lobe is not usually used to performing tasks such as these it is not as adept at carrying them out. Therefore, when control switches from the temporal lobe to the parietal lobe some speed and accuracy is naturally lost. Interestingly, sleep deprived subjects have been shown to have better short-term memory abilities than their well-rested counterparts . Since memory is associated with this region of the cerebral cortex the fact that it is already active in sleep deprived people could make it easier for new synapses to be created, thus forming new short-term memories more easily.
The implications of this data seem to be fairly important in supporting the location of the I-function within the brain. The prefrontal cortex is active whenever a person is awake, no matter how little sleep they have had. Also, this area is active while dreaming. Since the individual is aware of him or herself during both of these instances, but is not aware during the stages of sleep when the prefrontal cortex is shut down, it seems logical that the I-function is located within this region. This indicates that the I-function is what is resting and regenerating during the first stage of sleep. It would be interesting to study prefrontal cortex activity while a person is conscious, but unaware of his or her actions, due to an influence such as drugs or alcohol. According to the results of the sleep deprivation studies little or no activity should be seen in the prefrontal cortex at anytime when the individual is unaware of his or herself.
Sleep deprivation is an overall lack of the necessary amount of sleep
Another piece of evidence supporting the location of the I-function is that mammals have REM sleep whereas cold-blooded animals do not and mammals have a neocortex, located within the prefrontal cortex, while cold-blooded animals do not. REM sleep stimulates areas of the brain used for learning and memory . When a person is taught a new skill his or her performance does not improve until he or she receives at least eight hours of sleep . An extended period of sleep ensures that the brain will be able to complete the full sleep cycle, including REM sleep. The necessity of sleep for learning could be due to the fact that sleep increases the production of proteins while reducing the rate at which they are broken down . Proteins are used to regenerate the neurons within the brain. Without them new synapses may not be able to be formed, thus limiting the amount of information a sleep-deprived individual can maintain.
The Bad Effects of Sleep Deprivation ESSAY DESCRIPTION ..
In a way sleep deprivation studies help us to study the relationship between the brain and behavior in a very unique way by observing how a person's behavior changes as the brain shuts down. By taking images of the brain showing where activity is located it is possible to correlate the behavior exhibited by a subject with his or her brain patterns. Just like a person cannot jog for three continuous days a person's brain cannot operate without rest breaks. Since different regions of the brain rest during different stages of the sleep cycle, sleep cannot be cut short. In fact, if the brain does not receive a break it will soon begin to shut down for periods of microsleep. This is essentially several seconds of actual sleep; delta waves that interrupt the regular EEG of an awake person thereby impairing his or her continuity of cognitive function. Microsleep generally happens directly before performance failure occurs . Without sleep our brains deteriorate, and if the argument that brain=behavior is true, then our behavior will also suffer accordingly.
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