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renieri
10-22-2013, 01:36 AM
I've got questions leading to more questions. Namely, what parts of the brain are stimulated during sleep and dreams? What are the nature of dreams and how do they benefit us? It's been proven through research animals dream- so there's a benefit someplace if it is such a large part of mammal genetics.

Many more questions if I can find someone who studies or has studied in this field. I've read several books on the subject, looking to find someone to converse with about specifics.

melindamusil
10-22-2013, 01:53 AM
Fox News recently did a story on sleep.
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/10/18/good-night-sleep-cleans-out-gunk-in-brain-study-shows/
The gist of it is that when we sleep, our brains use that time to sort out the day's memories, put the important stuff into long term memory, and get rid of the unimportant stuff.
Sleep in general and dreams in particular are when our mind works out answers to problems we dealt with during the day. I've also read before that, in research, subjects can solve a repeated problem faster if they've had a chance to sleep.

Wilde_at_heart
10-22-2013, 02:01 AM
How much have you read up on the limbic system?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917081/

http://www.dreamscience.org/idx_science_of_dreaming_section-3.htm

renieri
10-22-2013, 10:38 PM
How much have you read up on the limbic system?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917081/

http://www.dreamscience.org/idx_science_of_dreaming_section-3.htm

Limbic system? Not much.

melindamusil
10-22-2013, 10:44 PM
Renieri, what do you want to know? There is so much information about this topic, and there's a lot that we don't know. Do you have any more specific questions?

renieri
10-22-2013, 11:45 PM
I'd love to find an overview somewhere or someone who can explain in basic terms what our brain is doing while we sleep/dream, then what parts of the brain are operating, and what those parts of the brain usually do.

Then I'd like to find more about the Pineal gland and more specific to my current writing, if the pineal gland expanded to, say, 4 times it's size, what sort of pressure would it put on what parts of the brain, and what effects would it have on the person (i.e. side effects)? Finally, can the Pineal gland be removed? What would that mean for the person, considering it control serotonin and melanin levels, plus more?

After that, I'd just like to have a normal conversation and let someone knowledgeable in the field tell me what they find fascinating.

melindamusil
10-23-2013, 07:47 AM
These won't answer all of your questions, but all of these articles have some info on sleep. At the very least this should give you some good keywords for googling.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/51228/5-actual-facts-about-science-dreams
http://mentalfloss.com/article/52228/what-causes-nightmares
http://mentalfloss.com/article/12683/understanding-sleep-paralysis
http://mentalfloss.com/article/52697/secret-world-sleep-4-weird-things-about-catching-zs
http://ririanproject.com/2007/09/05/10-benefits-of-power-napping-and-how-to-do-it/

Sorry, my computer is out of commission for a few hours and I'm limited to my tablet, so typing's a bit tricky.

Wilde_at_heart
10-23-2013, 10:01 PM
I'd love to find an overview somewhere or someone who can explain in basic terms what our brain is doing while we sleep/dream, then what parts of the brain are operating, and what those parts of the brain usually do.

Then I'd like to find more about the Pineal gland and more specific to my current writing, if the pineal gland expanded to, say, 4 times it's size, what sort of pressure would it put on what parts of the brain, and what effects would it have on the person (i.e. side effects)? Finally, can the Pineal gland be removed? What would that mean for the person, considering it control serotonin and melanin levels, plus more?

After that, I'd just like to have a normal conversation and let someone knowledgeable in the field tell me what they find fascinating.

First off, it's probably best to do some research on the internet first - in popular journals like Science, Nature, Mayo online, or here - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ etc. If you aren't even familiar with things like the limbic system, an expert's patience with myriad questions might wear thin quite fast.

On top of that, a sleep expert might be someone who's come from a background in cognitive psychology while some of your questions are aimed more at an MD. There might be one on here, and no harm in asking, but best to do as much 'homework' on your own first.

satisverborum2003
10-24-2013, 12:20 AM
I am not really a neuroscientist but some of my lecturers during my degree were. I might still have some lecture notes stashed away somewhere. It's quite a complicated subject but a good starting points would be to google "sleep-wake cycle" or "circadian rhythm" which my lecturers were doing a research on. I think one of them has an article published in nature magazine... In regards to your question - if pineal gland was removed I would think it would have an effect on mood. Serotonin is implicated in depression (which is why one of the biggest classes of antidepressants such as Prozac are called selective Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors because they affect the serotonin in the brain). Of course, I would recommend checking out the articles that has been recommended.

Rockem Sockem Robot
10-26-2013, 01:21 AM
Several different portions of your brain are active during the various stages of the sleep cycle, and they change each stage. Science doesn't know the precise reasons for dreaming, though I'm confident the reasons are multifactorial. I recommend contacting a local sleep studies center and asking if a medical professional there would offer you some additional answers to your questions.