Role of DNA in Brain Information Processing
In the adult rat, brain DNA is in a state of turnover, which also involves a neuronal perikaryal fraction. Brain DNA synthesis is modulated by learning in upward or downward shifts, depending on the nature of the learning task. The concentration of radioactive brain DNA synthesized during training is inversely dependent on the amount of post-training paradoxical sleep, but only in non-learning rats. These results are taken as evidence that brain DNA is synthesized during learning in relation to the process of information storage, and may eventually be degraded in relation to the removal of that information. The latter process requires paradoxical sleep, and occurs if the information proves to be without adaptive value. It is proposed that transposition mechanisms underly the observed brain DNA turnover and the corresponding events of information processing. The data also support the sequential hypothesis of sleep function, which holds that the information gathered by brain during wakefulness is processed during sleep in two major steps occurring sequentially during synchronized and pardoxical sleep.
KeywordsActive Avoidance Paradoxical Sleep Radioactive Precursor Sequential Hypothesis Percent Incorporation
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