This Is Why It Feels Harder to Wake Up on Cold Winter Mornings

Research done on fruit flies shows that a special batch of neurons sensitive to outer temperatures "suppresses" other neurons in charge of morning "activeness."

    2020/05/26

NSFW    EVANSTON, ILLINOIS — Research done on fruit flies shows that a special batch of neurons sensitive to outer temperatures "suppresses" other neurons in charge of morning "activeness."

A new study published in the journal Current Biology shows scientists have identified a thermometer-like circuit of neurons that inhibits neurons in a fly's brain that activate alertness, particularly in the mornings.

Neurobiologists from Northwestern University found receptors in the fly's antennas that respond to temperatures below around 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit."

The main recipients of these neurons are another batch of brain neurons. These neurons are part of a larger circuit of brain cells that are in charge of regulating wakefulness and sleep rhythms.

When the circuit of neurons is activated due to a decrease in external temperatures, certain neurons that are normally activated by morning light are shut down.
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