Posted: 02 May 2012 05:01 PM PDT
We see the most vivid dreams during the REM sleep stage, so that begs the question whether marijuana affects the stage of REM sleep. A study conducted in 1975 (Feinberg, I., Jones, R, Walker JM, Cavness, C, March, J. Effects of high dosage delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on sleep patterns in man) compared the sleep patterns of heavy marijuana smokers with those of non-smokers. The results showed that smokers have a lower speed of eye movement, and their REM sleep is very slow, which reduces the ability to see dreams.
Since marijuana tends to suppress dreams, when you withdraw it, dreams come back with a vengeance. It can be brightly colored, emotionally-rich dreams or nightmares, sometimes perceived as reality. Waking up and then falling asleep again, you find yourself in the same dream again. These vivid dreams usually occur every night about a week after the rejection of the drug and last about a month and then gradually taper off.
Thus, there is scientific evidence that marijuana smoking is closely related to one's inability to dream, so the next time you smoke and can't remember if you dreamed anything, you will know the answer to your question.
Posted: 02 May 2012 09:56 AM PDT
Learning of a second foreign language is particularly beneficial not only for one's curriculum but also for the brain, according to a new scientific research, which comes to confirm previous studies claiming that knowledge of foreign languages is a beneficial form of education of the brain, which enhances concentration, attention, memory, etc.
Researchers from the Northwestern University of Illinois, who published the study in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concluded that bilingualism affects the brain and fundamentally alters the way the nervous system reacts to sounds, as shown by the laboratory experiments.
As the scientists found, when there was a relative quiet in the lab, two groups of people, those who spoke only their native language and those who also spoke a second one, had similar brain responses to sounds. But when the lab was deliberately flooded by sound stimuli and noises, then the members of the second language group managed much better to edit the sounds, to focus their attention to the voice of each speaker and to cut off the other noises in the background. The difference in the performance between the two groups of volunteers was visible in the brain waves.
Those who know foreign languages and, therefore, seem to have more efficient acoustic system, are more flexible and better able to automatically focus on sound stimuli and to efficiently process them.
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