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

ound 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


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