Night Shift: The Brain’s Extraordinary Work While Asleep

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Night Shift: The Brain’s Extraordinary Work While Asleep

Richard W. Stevens

Quote:Conscious thinking means our brains, our minds, are sensing, observing, memorizing, recalling, decoding, analyzing, calculating, interrelating, cross-referencing, rearranging, expanding, generalizing, communicating, and even creating. Those coordinated operations, part of cognition, require real work.

After all that brain work, it should be time for a rest, right? Nope. When a supermarket closes, the workers don’t just switch off the lights and go home. Overnight the workers clean, restock, organize, repair, and get the store ready for the next day. It’s the same for the brain. Lie down, close your eyes, lose consciousness, and the brain undertakes the heavy lifting that sleep demands.

Revealing the how and why of sleep, Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, has written Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Sleep is not just an annoying state of rest that wastes valuable time. As Walker describes:
Quote:Sleep is not the absence of wakefulness. It is far more than that. [O]ur nighttime sleep is an exquisitely complex, metabolically active, and deliberately ordered series of unique stages.

Drawing from observed behaviors, self-reports, three-dimensional brain scans, and experiments upon humans and animals, scientists have uncovered much about what goes on during the brain’s night shift...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2023-11-30, 02:50 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Night Shift: The Brain’s Extraordinary Work While Asleep

Richard W. Stevens

Funny how you post about this topic Sci, I just bought this book because I always felt I needed more sleep than others, and that when I don't get enough, I am far more irritable and dysfunctional than others appear to be!

Interesting to see how the book pans out.
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(2023-12-13, 06:32 PM)diverdown Wrote: Funny how you post about this topic Sci, I just bought this book because I always felt I needed more sleep than others, and that when I don't get enough, I am far more irritable and dysfunctional than others appear to be!

Interesting to see how the book pans out.

So now you have had some time to read the book, can you give us an idea how interesting the book turned out to be?

I go to sleep very easily and sometimes when I put down my Kindle and turn out the light, I ask myself what I will be doing in a few minutes time - do I for example, spend a few hours as a spirit before returning in the morning?

David
(This post was last modified: 2024-01-28, 05:09 PM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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As has often been observed, there seem to be many analogies between the operation of the brain and human-made computers. These parallels are perhaps at least partially understandable using the interactional dualist receiver/transducer/transmitter model, where the conscious human spirit causally manifests in the physical by means of intricately interpenetrating and linking to the neurons of the various brain structures. According to this researcher, during sleep the brain's built-in neural "operating system" has clean-up programs that clear out junk and do housekeeping functions to restore operability of the neural machine for the next awake active day. This built-in neural operating system processing appears to be independent from consciousness, which is to be expected considering the Hard Problem where "processing" is in an entirely separate existential category from subjective awareness. 

In the PC computer world, the Windows operating system and its many read/write memory files, the junk and malware clean-up application programs that remove a lot of junk left by previous processing, and the physical computer mechanizing all this software are very roughly analogous to the human brain, with the outside human user-operator very roughly analogous to the human spirit in embodiment.   

Consider this researcher's findings regarding the brain's activities during sleep, especially the actions taken during non-REM sleep:

Quote:"During Non-REM Sleep the Brain:

Refreshes memories
Selects needed and helpful memories for retention
Identifies unneeded and painful memories to be forgotten   
Transfers fact-based memory information from temporary storage to long-term storage
Clears short-term memory storage regions for future use
Replenishes learning ability

During REM Sleep the Brain:
           
Sharply increases activity in brain regions for visual, motor, memories of experiences, and especially emotions
Deactivates edges of prefrontal cortex, switching off logical thought in the control region
Solidifies language acquisition
Recalibrates the ability to determine the meaning of facial expressions and body language
Works toward resolving emotional reactions and states, reducing hypersensitivity
Works to solve problems
Engages in creativity, e.g., by associating stored memories not obviously related"

The many parallels with sophisticated PC computer cleaning apps that remove a lot of junk left by previous processing are exemplified for instance by Piriform's Crap Cleaner, which according to Wiki does the following things:

Quote:"CCleaner can delete potentially unwanted files left by certain programs, including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, McAfee, Adobe Flash Player, Sun Java, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and GIMP along with browsing history, cookies, recycle bin, memory dumps, file fragments, log files, system caches, application data, autocomplete form history, and various other data. The program includes a registry cleaner to locate and correct problems in the Windows registry, such as missing references to shared DLLs, unused registration entries for file extensions, and missing references to application paths. CCleaner 2.27 and later can wipe the MFT free space of a drive, or the entire drive."
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@nbtruthman 
We have no way of measuring memories and what happens to them - we don't even know where they are stored so if this person you quoted really made such definite claims, he was out of his depth.  For that reason, I wouldn't want to trust anything he says but given how antagonistic you usually are towards scientists, I'm surprised that you do so unquestioningly.  Maybe because it favours your way of thinking?
(2024-01-29, 03:00 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: As has often been observed, there seem to be many analogies between the operation of the brain and human-made computers. These parallels are perhaps at least partially understandable using the interactional dualist receiver/transducer/transmitter model, where the conscious human spirit causally manifests in the physical by means of intricately interpenetrating and linking to the neurons of the various brain structures.

How would a spirit remember anything if the memories are in the brain? Are there two sets of memory in two different places?

A computer "memory" is really akin to an abacus or diary, neither of which are actually thought to hold any memories.

Or, to put it another way, nothing in the material world can be said to hold mental content because all physical things have projections of meaning onto them. It seems to me this holds whether the "stuff" is made from atoms, ether, or even some astral material supposedly making up Akashic Records.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2024-01-30, 12:35 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: How would a spirit remember anything if the memories are in the brain? Are there two sets of memory in two different places?

A computer "memory" is really akin to an abacus or diary, neither of which are actually thought to hold any memories.

Or, to put it another way, nothing in the material world can be said to hold mental content because all physical things have projections of meaning onto them. It seems to me this holds whether the "stuff" is made from atoms, ether, or even some astral material supposedly making up Akashic Records.

But it is well known that brain injuries, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, some drugs, and other physical disruptions of certain areas of the brain selectively and profoundly affect the different kinds of memory. Fact. The interactional dualist transmitter/receiver model can reconcile this fact with the existence of spirit. It holds that the human spirit manifests in the physical via intricately occupying and utilizing the brain as its interface mechanism. In this model human consciousness is drastically limited or filtered down by having to operate through this physical interface. Various disruptions of the physical neural interface can damage this neural machinery such that memory information in different ways is not available to the embodied spirit consciousness (or cannot be stored), as if the memories were actually being carried by the brain rather than as in fact they are, held in immaterial spirit. Hence the cases of terminal resumption of awareness where moribund Alzheimer's patients or brain tumor victims - people with massive irreversible brain damage - can spontaneously "wake up" for a brief period and speak to caregivers as if their brains were suddenly healed. This is evidence that consciousness is not a function of the brain and that memory ultimately isn't carried by the brain, and that spirit can in extraordinary circumstances bypass portions of the brain/spirit interface. Veridical NDE OBE accounts also indicate that memories are not carried by the brain, since during the experiences the physical brain is usually dysfunctional.
(This post was last modified: 2024-01-30, 02:36 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 2 times in total.)
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To continue my previous post, accordingly, the correlations and analogies noted by the sleep researcher in the OP between human-made computer activities and the human brain are reasonable. That is, the "computer" housekeeping  activities in the human brain found to occur during sleep are a natural result of the fact elucidated by much modern research, that the brain is at least in part a vastly complicated neural machine having many parallels with our relatively primitive digital computing devices.
(2024-01-30, 12:35 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: ...nothing in the material world can be said to hold mental content because all physical things have projections of meaning onto them. It seems to me this holds whether the "stuff" is made from atoms, ether, or even some astral material supposedly making up Akashic Records.

I spent ages working on this years ago... what you distinguish as 'mental' and 'physical'... I concluded that it was not possible to define which comes first, and that I should consider them to be one thing. For example, I can write a physical note to myself now, to remember to collect a suit at the dry cleaners later, and seeing the note again seems to connect me to the moment I wrote the note.

Way back in the 90's I found I couldn't understand the colour of isolated colour swatches, without more context. Indeed I arranged to meet a professor at the University of Keele who specialised in colour, to try and understand the problem. It's only years later I realised, I had stumbled across what Endwin Land was working on. We now know from Lands brilliant work, that colour cannot be a property of the 'physical' world, yet colour emerges from exposure to the physical.

It's hard to be absolutely certain, because I'm stuck within experience, and trying to understand experience from within experience. But it does seem that if there was no 'physical' (shared patterns), there would be no 'mental' either, hence it's incorrect to consider them as separate... there is only experience.

I have a more sophisticated understanding of it now. I realise that both seem to emerge from the same mental/physical structure, but they are both different 'perspectives' of this structure.

Again I'm not at all religious, but this issue dealt with in many different ways within the deep wisdom of the Gospel of Thomas. Two direct examples:

(3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

(89) Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not realize that he who made the inside is the same one who made the outside?"
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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I just ran across an interesting mediumistic communication regarding memory that to a certain extent seems to confirm the interactive dualism transmitter/receiver or filter model of consciousness. This is in a short essay by Michael Tymn, at https://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/e...fter_death

Quote:"In the 1937 book, Personality Survives Death, by Dr. Florence Elizabeth Barrett, there is a record of much communication between Dr. Barrett and her late husband, Sir William Barrett, most of it through the medium Gladys Osborne Leonard.  Sir William, a renowned physicist when in the physical body and a pioneer in psychical research, attempted to explain the difficulties he had in communicating through the medium. “Sometimes I lose some memory of things from coming here,” he told Lady Barrett. “I know it in my own state but not here….In the Earth body we have the separation of subconscious and conscious. Consciousness only holds a certain number of memories at a time. When we pass over they join – make a complete mind that knows and remembers everything, but when one comes here to a sitting the limitation of the physical sphere affects one’s mind, and only a portion of one’s mind can function for the time being.”
................................
Sir William further explained that it was much easier for him to communicate an idea than a detached word, such as a proper name.  “When I am in my own sphere I am told a name and think I shall remember it,” he communicated. “[But] when I come into the conditions of a sitting I then know I can only carry with me – contain in me – a small portion of my consciousness. The easiest things to lay hold of are what we may call ideas; a detached word, a proper name, has no link with a train of thought except in a detached sense; that is far more difficult than any other feat of memory or association of ideas.”
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