Your brain’s mapmaker never, ever sleeps.

Science News reports on studies that find the parts of your brain in charge of navigation never rests, even when you’re asleep:

Nestled in a part of the brain called the medial entorhinal cortex, grid cells fire off regularly spaced signals as a rat moves through the world, marking a rat’s various locations. Individual grid cells work together to create a mental map of the environment.

Grid cells, it turns out, maintain their mapmaking relationships even in sleeping rats, report two teams of researchers, one from the University of Texas at Austin and one from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

For instance, two grid cells that fired off signals nearly in tandem while the rat was awake kept that same pattern during sleep, a sign that the map is intact.

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