Navigation Links
Brain's Learning Ability Seems to Recharge During Light Slumber
Date:3/8/2011

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Your brain's ability to learn may get recharged during the light, dreamless slumber that accounts for up to half of your night's sleep, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conducted tests on 44 healthy young adults and found strong evidence that bursts of brain waves called sleep spindles may network between important regions of the brain to clear a path to learning.

These spindles -- which are fast pulses of electricity that are generated during non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and can occur up to 1,000 times per night -- help to transfer fact-based memories from the brain's hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex's "hard drive."

This enables the hippocampus, which has limited storage space, to take in fresh data, the researchers explained.

"All these pieces of the puzzle tell a consistent and compelling story -- that sleep spindles predict learning refinement," senior author Matthew Walker, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, said in a UC Berkeley news release.

Spindle-driven networking is most likely to occur during stage 2 of non-REM sleep, which occurs before the deepest non-REM sleep and dream-inducing REM sleep. Stage 2 non-REM sleep can account for half of a person's sleep.

"A lot of that spindle-rich sleep is occurring in the second half of the night, so if you sleep six hours or less, you are shortchanging yourself. You will have fewer spindles and you might not be able to learn as much," lead author Bryce Mander, a post-doctoral fellow in psychology, said in the news release.

In this study, the researchers subjected 44 healthy young adults to a demanding memorizing task. All participants did equally well. The researchers then divided the group in two, with one half taking an hour and a half nap while the other half stayed awake.

That evening, the entire group was given another round of memorizing tasks. This time, though, those who had remained awake throughout the day had more trouble memorizing the new information. In contrast, those who had napped performed better than the waking group. In addition, the nappers appeared to actually have an improved capability for learning, the study found.

The study team then turned to electroencephalogram tests, which measured electrical activity in the brains of the nappers. These showed that the more sleep spindles the nappers produced, the more refreshed they appeared for learning. In addition, researchers discovered that sleep spindles were linked to brain activity looping between the lobes of the brain that house the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex -- both critical areas for memory.

The study appears Mar. 8 in the journal Current Biology.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about sleep.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of California, Berkeley, news release, March 8, 2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tobacco smoking impacts teens brains, UCLA study shows
2. Brains need love, too
3. Pitt team finds teen brains over-process rewards, suggesting root of risky behavior, mental ills
4. Experts Brains Work Differently Than Amateurs
5. Smoking Scenes in Movies Light Up Smokers Brains
6. New Moms Brains May Grow After Childbirth
7. Colorful brains, cooling lasers, disease-detecting lights and more
8. CU-Boulder study sheds light on how our brains get tripped up when were anxious
9. Menstrual Cramps May Alter Womens Brains
10. Brainstem, spinal cord images hidden in Michelangelos Sistine Chapel fresco
11. In Conversation, Peoples Brains Can Mirror Each Other
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Brain's Learning Ability Seems to Recharge During Light Slumber
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a ... they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, ... offering. Surgical Procedure ... planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic ... in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: