Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dream a Little Dream of Recall - Those who dream about mazes solve them better

Dream a Little Dream of Recall

As the sleeping brain builds memories it generates dreams about recently learned material

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By Bruce Bower, Science News

People who have nap-time dreams about a task that they’ve just practiced get a big memory boost on the task upon awakening, Harvard researchers report.

Those who dream about anything else have no such enhanced recall, the team reports in a paper published online April 22 in Current Biology. Neither do those who stay awake, even if they think about the task.

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“I was startled by this finding,” says study coauthor Robert Stickgold, a cognitive neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. “Task-related dreams may get triggered by the sleeping brain’s attempt to consolidate challenging new information and to figure out how to use it.”

His new findings elaborate on research suggesting that sleep generally enhances memory and learning (SN: 4/28/07, p. 260).

Dreaming about a demanding undertaking doesn’t cause enhanced memories for that experience, Stickgold emphasizes. Rather, memory-fortifying brain processes during sleep cause the dreams, he proposes. During slumber, Stickgold posits, a structure called the hippocampus integrates recently learned information, such as how to navigate a virtual maze, while other brain regions apply this information to related but broader situations, such as how to navigate a maze of job application forms.

That’s a “tempting speculation,” remarks physiological psychologist Jan Born of the University of Lübeck in Germany. Stickgold’s idea has much potential for fostering advances in dream research, Born says.

Stickgold’s group focused on dreams that occur during non–rapid eye movement, or NREM, sleep. Previous studies found links between chemical and electrical activity in the brain during NREM sleep and better learning by rats and people. Neural activity sparked by recent learning has not been observed during rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep, which often includes especially vivid and bizarre dream elements.

In the new investigation, 99 college students age 18 to 30 spent an hour practicing a virtual maze task on a computer. In a series of trials, volunteers navigated through a complex, three-dimensional maze, starting from a different spot each time. They were instructed to remember the location of a particular tree in the maze.

For the first 90 minutes of a five-hour break from practicing, students were assigned either to take a nap or to engage in quiet activities such as watching videos.

Nappers’ electrical brain activity was monitored with scalp sensors. Experimenters questioned the students about their dreams just before they fell asleep, after one minute of continuous NREM sleep and at the end of the nap period. Volunteers who stayed awake recounted their thoughts at the start, middle and end of the 90-minute session.

After lunch and a period of quiet activity, participants reentered the virtual maze at random spots and were asked to find the tree that they had previously tried to remember.

Those who had dreamed of the experimental task — four of 50 nappers — found the tree much faster than they had in initial trials. These individuals described dreams such as seeing people at particular locations in a maze or hearing music that had played in the lab during testing.

All of the volunteers who dreamed about the maze had performed relatively poorly during pre-nap training, Stickgold notes. Memory processes invoked by the sleeping brain may respond most strongly to challenges perceived as difficult and important to solve, he suggests.

Stickgold’s group is now designing a more exciting maze task intended to elicit task-related dreams in a larger proportion of volunteers.

The researchers also plan to examine whether people who have REM dreams about a maze task during a full night’s slumber navigate that maze better the next day.

In The Popes Defence - Maze Cartoon by Yonatan Frimer and RSL

In defence of the Pope - Cartoon Maze
cartoon maze pope vatican
Editorial Maze Cartoon "In Defence of the Pope"

The Pope's defence in Child Sex Scandal
CS- Pope Response
Pier Paolo Cito / AP Photo

The buck may stop with the previous pope, if Pope Benedict XVI's defence is accurate. As fresh child sex abuse scandals rock the Vatican, The Washington Post reports that the current pope is going on the offensive with a media blitz in anticipation of Easter Sunday. This week...(READ MORE)

Other Yonatan Frimer Mazes:Link

Popular Mazes by Yonatan Frimer
King Kong Maze

Maze A Delical mazes

Other Yonatan Frimer Mazes:Link

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Editroial Cartoon Mazes by Yonatan Frimer and RSL

The following are editorial maze cartoons by Yonatan Frimer and RSL
More like these can be found at

Editorial Maze Cartoon - Road To Dictatorship

editorial maze road to dictatorship
Editoral Cartoon Maze in Larger and Printable Format

Can't solve the maze? Click here for the maze solution
Bashar Assad, President Ahmadinejad, and Hassan Nasrallah on the road to dictatorship. A donkey marked UN poops out resolution as the Iranian president remarks
"Just don't step in any of it till we get there."

Obama Healthcare Reform
Political Cartoon Maze Obama Healthcare pill thats is hard to swallow
Editorial Cartoon Maze Obamacare
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Click here to download Political Cartoon Maze on Obamacare in high quality
President Obama lowers a massive pill marked healthcare
down the mouth of a character marked "America"

Iranian Regime Puppets
Political Cartoon Maze Iranian Puppet Regime
Editorial Cartoon Iranian Regime
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Click here to download Political Cartoon Maze of Iranian Regime puppets in high quality
Iranian supreme leader Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i using a team of monkeys to control a puppet baring the likeness of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Gaza Situation
Political maze cartoon of gaza situation
Editorial Maze Cartoon of Gaza Situation
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Click here to download Political Cartoon Maze of Gaza Situation in high quality
Monkeys depicting the Palestinians aim arms, guns and rockets at a giant sleeping monkey marked as Israeli. The overall message of the cartoon is that the Palestinians are going to wake a sleeping giant.

Gaza Guns and Butter
Editorial maze cartoon of gaza guns and butter
Guns and Butter in Gaza
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Click here to download Political Cartoon Maze of Gaza guns and butter in high quality
Gun sales in Gaza are hot while the butter store is out of business. Based on the well established economic model of "Guns and Butter" to show how much an economy is spending on military and how much on peoples needs.

Israel/Palestinian Land 4 Peace
editorial maze cartoon of palestinian and israel conflict land 4 peace
Click here to view this Editorial Maze in Larger and Printable Format
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Editorial Cartoon Maze of Palestinians throwing rocks over the fence and yelling "stop taking our land" while the Israeli Soldiers are on the other side of the separation barrier yelling "Then stop throwing it at us"

Bibi Netanyahu Opening a can of worms

editorial maze bibi netanyahu opening a can of worms
Click here to view this Editorial Maze in Larger and Printable Format
Can't solve the maze? click here for the maze solution
Editorial Cartoon that is also a maze of Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu having his team of monkeys opening up a can of worms which make their way over to the apples marked "American relations" and "Jerusalem"


To contact the artist, Yonatan Frimer, please email
To order prints-on-demand of these cartoon and other mazes for your offices, please click here.

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Maze Portrait of Albert Einstein.
Portait maze of albert einstein
"Genius Maze" - By Y. Frimer

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Editorial cartoons on the middle east, Obamacare and Iran

***For Immediate Release***

April 19, 2010 - Tel Aviv, Israel - Cartoonist Yonatan Frimer has released a handful of editorial cartoons to help drum up publicity of his upcoming book. These cartoons may be published for no charge for editorial purposes.

Each of the cartoons is actually also a solvable maze, making them one of the few "interactive" forms of media that can be printed in traditional newspapers.

The cartoons can be viewed and downloaded at

About Team Of Monkeys
Team Of Monkeys is a cartoon created by Yonatan Frimer and RSL, two highly creative professionals that have made a living by poking fun at the ironies of society. In addition to carrying a complex message within the cartoons, each of the images is also a solvable maze, a feature that makes them ideal for reversing the declining market share of traditional newspapers. Both Frimer and RSL are based in Israel and have conflicting political views, making them able to cater to both the left, center and right political leanings.

Yonatan Frimer, Cartoonist
phone: +972-545-683-040