Brain Activity Suggest That it Processes Information While We Sleep

Sleep is a beloved part of relaxation, where our brain shuts down and for a few blissful hours the world doesn’t exist. Or so we thought. A new study suggests that the brain in actuality monitors everything that is going on around us, even when we’re sleeping. The study of the brain indicated that it makes different gestures when it processes information while we catch up on our much-needed beauty sleep. Read on to know more about this mind-blowing find!

The Experiment

The experiment was done by Manuel Schabus, a neuroscientist at the University of Salzburg in Austria, and his colleagues. During the experiment, the adult test subjects slept through the night while the researchers played a recording of both familiar and unfamiliar voices. The brain activity was monitored through an electroencephalogram (EEG). The focus was mostly on a pattern of sleep activity called K-complexes, a two-part spike activity which suppressed neural activity to keep you asleep and processes information to decide if it should wake you up.

The Result

The findings showed that the contents of the recordings didn’t matter as much to the brain activity as the familiarity of the voice did. It was observed that the brain registered more K-complexes when the voices were unfamiliar. This is indicative of an evolutionary defense mechanism in the brain, as an unfamiliar voice talking next to you while you sleep could be a threat. The voices also produced micro-arousals, an activity believed to gesture towards information processing while sleeping.

Further Scope

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, has a wide scope of research. It was observed that during the second half of the night, the K-complexes became lesser as the unfamiliar voice started becoming more familiar. This indicates that our brain is learning even while sleeping. Schabus commented that the study also highlights the importance of a good, undisturbed night’s sleep to recover from the constant processing done by the brain.

Video Calling Up To 20,000 People Is Now Possible On Microsoft Teams

For a lot of companies, having to work from home in 2020 has been tough. Although video-calling apps have helped employers stay in contact with their staff, these services have only been able to host so many people. That’s why Microsoft Teams have been working hard to make it possible for up to 20,000 people to share a call at the same time.

Better Communication For Everyone

For organizations with a high number of employees, small video meetings aren’t exactly ideal. Although bosses want the personal touch of addressing their staff face-to-face, they’ve only been able to do it with so many people at a time. However, now that Microsoft Teams has introduced their Advanced Communications plan, employers don’t have to worry about scaling down their company-wide meetings any longer. They can address thousands of people at the same time without worrying about anyone missing out.

There Are Some Setbacks

The addition to Microsoft’s video calling software is an excellent improvement, although it does come with certain limitations. Not everyone in the meeting can be an interactive participant, with only the first 1,000 people having that ability. The rest can only partake in the call via a ‘view only’ mode, although in the case of an employer addressing their staff, that’s not necessarily a significant issue.

No Sign Of Change

With no idea of when work will return to a state of ‘normal’ for everyone, improvements like this are definitely needed. Working from home is likely to be expected of people for many months to come, so the easier it is to communicate with employees and colleagues, the better. Being able to stay connected with one another is something we desperately need during such difficult times.

We expect that Microsoft and its video-calling rivals will continue to improve their systems to ensure that users can make the most of their services while they’re essential for work.