Lack of sleep stops effective communication between brain cells and affects how people perceive the world around them.
The recent study, which is extremely important for drivers who drive tired, suggests that part of the brain is deactivated to rest, although the person is still awake.
Lack of sleep can also cause temporary memory loss and sight bottlenecks. Dr. Itzhak Fried of UCLA says the effect could prevent a driver from observing a pedestrian. “The lack of rest prevents the proper functioning of neurons. The study shows how cognitive blockages prevent us from perceiving and reacting to the world around us. Practically, lack of sleep produces the same effects on the brain as those seen from alcohol consumption. But there are currently no medical or legal standards to identify tired drivers.”, Fried said.
In the study, 12 depressed epileptic patients were implanted with electrodes in the brain. They were asked to catalog a variety of images as quickly as they could. Fulfilling the tasks has become increasingly difficult as patients became more tired. Their brain activity was much slower due to lack of rest.
The phenomenon suggests that the selected region of the patient’s brain was asleep, which causes mental blockages, while the rest of the brain was awake and functioning properly.