Science & Technology

Human brain: Tiny region that regulates sleep has now been imaged


Our sleep cycles are thought to be regulated partly by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a 2mm-wide structure in the brain that has now been imaged for the first time with a brain scanner



Mind



4 November 2021

man lying on his bed

A part of the brain that helps control sleep cycles has been imaged

laflor/Getty Images

We have taken our closest look at the activity of a tiny brain region thought to be involved in the human circadian clock.

Johanna Meijer at Leiden University in the Netherlands and her colleagues have been studying the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which sits in the hypothalamus and is thought to play a role in regulating our sleep cycles. However, because this structure is less than 2 millimetres wide it is difficult to image using an MRI – and …



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