Why do we dream? Using large-scale neural recordings in rodents, we will record neural activity during REM sleep, and use computational methods to decode what previous experiences of the rodent are replaying during this “dream” state of the animal. Previous work has identified that neural activity representing past spatial trajectories of the rat replays in the hippocampus spontaneously during slow-wave (deep) sleep, and that this activity is linked to memory consolidation. While neural activity patterns have been observed in the hippocampus during REM sleep, it remains an open question what information is being represented, and what function this serves.
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