REM Sleep And Learning

yan king yin (at dot) y.k.y.lycos.com at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Thu Jun 14 04:42:40 EST 2001

"Karl Self" <karl.self at gmx.net> wrote:

>     Sorry I didn't write sooner.  I am still waiting for my copy of Hobson's
> "Neurobiology ... Dreaming" to arrive from my library.

I'm also looking for data on neurochemical changes during sleep or dreaming.
So far I have found "Neurotransimitters Changes and REM Sleep" by Tohru Kodama
(1999). They measured neurotransmitter release in pontine regions. But I dont
know of any reference on whole-brain neurochemical changes during sleep.

It is well known that serotonergic activity in the reticular formation is high
during wakefulness and almost absent during REM sleep (REM < SWS < Wake). Also,
application of serotonin to growth cones adruptly stops their elongation. The
growth of cells that do not bear serotonin receptors is unaffected by this.
So, can it be inferred that, during wakefulness the growth of neurites is
suppressed while during REM sleep it is permitted?

Experiments have shown that the entire shape of a mature neuron's dendritic
branches may change over time. [Purves and Hadley (1985) "Changes in the
dendritic branching of adult mamalian neurons revealed by repeated imaging
in situ" Nature 315:404-406]. There must somehow be a mechanism for this

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