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Study reveals brain activity linked to angry dreams


A recent study helps to decode the neural basis of As part of the project, researchers identified a pattern of activity that reflects experienced during dreaming.

Although are experienced during both the waking and dreaming state, few studies have investigated the mechanisms underlying the affective component of dreams.

The researchers obtained electroencephalography recordings from participants during two separate nights in a laboratory. After five-minute bouts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, participants were woken and asked to describe their dreams and rate the they experienced in the dreams.

"We found that individuals who displayed greater alpha-band activity in the right frontal cortex as compared to the left during evening wakefulness and during REM experienced more in dreams. This neural signature is known as frontal asymmetry (FAA)," explains Pilleriin Sikka, of the study published in the Journal of the Journal of

Alpha-band brain activity refers to brain waves with a frequency of 8-12 Hz, and they are especially prevalent during relaxed wakefulness. waves are thought to reflect the inhibition of underlying brain areas. More waves in the right frontal area thus indicate lower activity in that brain region.

"Previous studies have shown that frontal alpha asymmetry is related to and self-regulation during wakefulness. Our research results show that this asymmetrical brain activity is also related to anger experienced in dreams. Frontal alpha asymmetry may thus reflect our ability to regulate anger not only in the waking state but also in the dreaming state," Sikka added.

According to the researchers, the findings could potentially help to understand the neural basis of the emotional content of nightmares, a feature of various mental and It also opens up new questions as to whether it would be possible to modulate emotional experiences in dreams by stimulating the frontal brain areas using brain stimulation techniques.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 13:39 IST