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REM Sleep And NREM Sleep: Distinct Neurological Profiles

REM sleep and NREM sleep are characterized by very different patterns of brain activity:

NREM sleep:

  • Dominated by slow, synchronous brain waves
  • Reflects a relatively quiescent, inactive brain state
  • Plays a key role in memory consolidation and learning

REM sleep:

  • Characterized by fast, desynchronized brain waves similar to wake
  • Increased activity in visual, motor, emotional and memory centers
  • Plays a key role in emotional processing, creativity and memory integration

Switching between NREM and REM sleep through the night allows the brain to carry out distinct but complementary cognitive processes that are vital for learning, memory, emotional health and overall brain function.

Section: 3, Chapter: 9

Book: Why We Sleep

Author: Matthew Walker

Making Memories 101

How memories are made:

  • Memories are formed through lasting physical changes in the brain in response to experiences. The process involves four steps:
  1. Encoding - translating sensory information into neurological language,
  2. Consolidation - linking related neural activity into a connected pattern,
  3. Storage - maintaining the neural pattern over time through structural changes,
  4. Retrieval - reactivating the stored neural pattern to recall the memory.
  • The hippocampus is essential for consolidating new consciously retrievable memories by binding together disparate neural activity.

Section: 1, Chapter: 1

Book: Remember

Author: Lisa Genova

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