You taught a computer how to identify memory formation in a sleeping person!

Sleep spindles are bursts of brain activity that happen while we’re sleeping, and they are important for memory formation. BRAIN Initiative scientists taught computers to identify sleep spindles in recordings from on people sleeping, which will help us learn more about the importance of sleep in memory formation.

Person in bed with devices to monitor brain activity, breathing and movements during sleep. Visual representation of someone's sleep waves with a sleep spindle identified.
Image courtesy of Chen Lab


Kulkarni, et al. A deep learning approach for real-time detection of sleep spindles. J Neural Engineering. June 1, 2019. DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/ab0933

Scientists can put electrodes on the scalp to study electrical activity in brain cells. An electroencephalogram (EEG) test is used to detect electrical activity in the brain using electrodes. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when you're asleep.