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“Princess Leia” Brainwaves Help Sleeping Brain Store Memories

Every night while you sleep, electrical waves of brain activity circle around each side of your brain, tracing a pattern that, were it on the surface of your head, might look like the twin hair buns of Star Wars’ Princess Leia. Salk Professor Terrence Sejnowski, first author Lyle Muller and colleagues, who discovered these circular “Princess Leia” oscillations, think the waves are responsible each night for forming associations between different aspects of the day’s memories. The findings were described in the journal eLife on November 15, 2016.

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