Morning people and night owls show different brain function (w/Video)

Jun 23, 2009

Are you a "morning person" or a "night owl?"

Scientists at the University of Alberta have found that there are significant differences in the way our brains function depending on whether we're early risers or night owls.

Neuroscientists in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation looked at two groups of people: those who wake up early and feel most productive in the morning, and those who were identified as evening people, those who typically felt livelier at night. Study participants were initially grouped after completing a standardized questionnaire about their habits.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Using magnetic resonance imaging-guided stimulation, scientists tested muscle torque and the excitability of pathways through the spinal cord and brain. They found that morning people's brains were most excitable at 9 a.m. This slowly decreased through the day. It was the polar opposite for evening people, whose brains were most excitable at 9 p.m.

Other major findings:

  • Evening people became physically stronger throughout the day, but the maximum amount of force morning could produce remained the same.
  • The excitability of reflex pathways that travel through the spinal cord increased over the day for both groups.
These findings show that nervous-system functions are different and have implications for maximizing human performance.

Their findings were published in the June edition of the Journal of Biological Rhythms.

Source: University of Alberta (news : web)

Explore further: Cannabis-based medicine to be tested as child epilepsy therapy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dell Talking About 80-Core Chip Processor

Nov 20, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- This week Michael Dell (CEO of Dell) gave a slide presentation that included Intel´s recently developed 80-core processor. This isn't the first time that the 80-core chip was mentioned in ...

Foldable phone opens into large OLED screen

Nov 24, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new cell phone developed by Samsung opens like a book to reveal a larger OLED screen, essentially turning the phone into a portable media player. Samsung recently demonstrated the prototype ...

HP Compaq Mini 700 Netbook Launched in Europe

Dec 23, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- HP has launched their 10.2 inch netbook in Europe yesterday. The Compaq Mini incorporates a 1.6 GHz processor using an Intel Atom CPU along with an GMA950 graphics processor, with 1 GB of ...

Recommended for you

'Microlesions' in epilepsy discovered by novel technique

Dec 16, 2014

Using an innovative technique combining genetic analysis and mathematical modeling with some basic sleuthing, researchers have identified previously undescribed microlesions in brain tissue from epileptic ...

Thumbs-up for mind-controlled robotic arm (w/ Video)

Dec 16, 2014

A paralysed woman who controlled a robotic arm using just her thoughts has taken another step towards restoring her natural movements by controlling the arm with a range of complex hand movements.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.