To find out what happens in a sleep-deprived brain, Vyazovskiy kept rats up past their bedtime and used small sensors to measure the activity of individual neurons. Many of us know that distracting toys can stop us from sleeping – so it is with rats. Vyazovskiy woke them up bright and early, when they would normally be asleep, and gave them new objects to play with for four hours. The rats stayed awake and the sensors recorded their brain activity as they muddled through.
SQUEE! SQUEE! SQUEE!