Many mathematicians believe that that their brains continue to do mathematics during sleep. A paper
Kouider et al., Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain, Current Biology (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.016
Proves that brain continues in sleep some mental activities of the day.
From the summary of the paper:
using semantic categorization and lexical decision tasks, we studied task-relevant responses triggered by spoken stimuli in the sleeping brain. Awake participants classified words as either animals or objects (experiment 1) or as either words or pseudowords (experiment 2) by pressing a button with their right or left hand, while transitioning toward sleep. The lateralized readiness potential (LRP), an electrophysiological index of response preparation, revealed that task-specific preparatory responses are preserved during sleep. These findings demonstrate that despite the absence of awareness and behavioral responsiveness, sleepers can still extract task relevant information from external stimuli and covertly prepare for appropriate motor responses.
The paper generated a huge response in mass media: BBC, New Scientist, NBC News. It is mentioned in this blog because the study of brain activity is relevant to mathematics education. A naive question: do our students get enough sleep?