Synchrony in SCN via gap junctions

Neat article in this month’s Nature Neuroscience on how gap junctions (ie. direct, non-synaptic coupling) between neurons in the superchiasmatic nucleus might be responsible for their millisecond-scale synchrony and time-keeping abilities. Also, a variation in the amount of coupling (eg. number of gap junctions) was observed that followed a night-day cycle. Read on below for the news and views.
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Evidence that flies sleep

Their sleep cycle can be different than just their circadian rhythm: if you sleep deprive ’em, they need more sleep. A bunch of molecular similarities, too (i.e. some sleep-related drugs do the same things to flies).
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More evidence that brain replays learned patterns during sleep

In PLoS, Sidarta Ribeiro, Damien Gervasoni , Ernesto S. Soares, Yi Zhou , Shih-Chieh Lin , Janaina Pantoja , Michael Lavine , Miguel A. L. Nicolelis report that after rats explored novel objects, patterns similar to the neural patterns evoked by those objects repeated in diverse areas of the brain for two days after exposure, especially during slow-wave sleep.
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