Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Sleepy Head

Change in communication between brain regions is associated with cognitive impairment after sleep deprivation

14 January 2022

Sleepy Head

After a sleepless night even the simplest of tasks requires intense concentration. New research suggests that an altered balance in how much our brain regions work independently and with other regions could be the reason behind this. When our brain is integrated, regions are connected and communicate effectively with each other to carry out our daily tasks. When our brain is segregated, the focus is primarily on activity within a region. For efficient cognitive function a balance between segregation and integration must be struck. After 24 hours of no sleep, volunteers were asked to complete several tasks whilst having their brains imaged. In comparison to their pre-sleep deprived state, the balance of integration and segregation in brain activity was found to have changed and their ability to carry out the tasks was impaired. As more connections are considered (from L-R) the balance is skewed further.

Written by Katy Pallister

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.