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Understanding your baby's dreams

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The first human fetus spends most of its growth after the seven month mark asleep. So far it has been a mystery whether or not the brain during sleep or remained inactive. Now, scientists know the answer.

Using sophisticated mathematical techniques to detect patterns, a Friedrich Schiller University in Germany, the team found that the immature fetus are capable of entering a state in which they dream, just weeks before the onset of rapid eye movements . The scientists based their findings on analysis of the sleep habits of immature fetal sheep.

The team discovered the cycles of the complexity of the activity of the immature brain. Unlike the sleep patterns that occur in the later stages of development, the cycles vary from 5 to 10 minutes and change over time as the fetus develops.

Scientists have recorded the electrical activity in the brain of a 106-day-old developing fetus directly sheep, which had never been done.

The sheep were used in this study because they are equipped with one or two fetuses that are similar in both weight and size to that of men. In addition, brain development in humans and sheep is also very similar in humans, it lasts 280 days and 150 sheep.

Scientists say it is difficult to imagine what the fetus experiences throughout these cycles in terms that make sense for adults, but the models will describe the origins of sleep.

"Sleep is not suddenly a change from a brain at rest. Sleep and sleep changes are state regulated active processes," team leader said Karin Schwab.

These results will help scientists determine why we need sleep and how you can use these models to determine optimal growth and optimal health of individuals from the state of life.

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