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You're describing Hypnagogia. There has been some research on the EEG states during hypnagogia: To identify more precisely the nature of the EEG state which accompanies imagery in the transition from wakefulness to sleep, Hori et al. proposed a scheme of 9 EEG stages defined by varying proportions of alpha (stages 1–3), suppressed waves of less than ...


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Here is the first study with fMRI, EEG and eye-video simultaneously recorded while subjects were performing a task (Poudel et al., 2014). "fMRI analysis revealed a transient decrease in thalamic, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortex activity and an increase in frontal, posterior parietal, and parahippocampal activity during microsleeps. The transient ...


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Turns out this is possible with microdialysis. Microdialysis uses small probes that can continuously sample the concentrations of target compounds (i.e. neurotransmitters when embedded in a brain). In theory, though somewhat invasively, one could insert a few of these probes in a person's brain, display the neurotransmitter concentrations on a computer ...



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