Brain connections in young kids strengthen by 20pc during sleep
Washington – A new study has revealed that connections between the left and the right hemispheres of kids’ brain strengthen while they are sleeping.
The research team at University of Colorado Boulder used electroencephalograms, or EEGs, to measure the brain activity of eight sleeping children multiple times at the ages of 2, 3 and 5 years.
“Interestingly, during a night of sleep, connections weakened within hemispheres but strengthened between hemispheres,” lead author Salome Kurth said.
The researchers looked at differences in brain activity during sleep as the children got older and differences in brain activity of each child over a night’s sleep.
They found that connections in the brain generally became stronger during sleep as the children aged. They also found that the strength of the connections between the left and right hemispheres increased by as much as 20 percent over a night’s sleep.
Kurth said that there are strong indications that sleep and brain maturation are closely related, but at this time, it is not known how sleep leads to changes in brain structure.
The study is published in the journal Brain Sciences.