Neuroscience news: Scientists discover how sleep-wake cycle works

(Flickr/Tony Alter) While many believe that the smell of coffee, the ringing of an alarm clock, or the sound of roosters is what makes people rouse in the morning, neuroscientists have now discovered a more concise and scientific explanation on how the brain can wake you up. Researchers from Switzerland conducted a study using mice to figure out what part of the brain is responsible for ending a person’s light slumber. Through a technique called optogenetics, which uses pulses of light to manipulate neural activity, they found out that stimulating a specific neural circuit can terminate sleep. This circuit lies between the hypothalamus and thalamus. These two regions of the brain are known to be responsible for electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms during sleep period. The scientists also tried to stimulate the…

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