Navigation Links
Dreams Could Give Learning a Boost
Date:4/22/2010

Subjects who dreamed about video game did better playing it a second time

THURSDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Humans have long tried to figure out why we dream. In recent years, controversial research has suggested that we process our memories by dreaming. Now, a new study suggests that dreams also play a role in learning by processing what we've just experienced.

Researchers found that people who dreamed about a maze video game they'd just played did better the next time they tackled it, compared to those who didn't dream about it.

"There are parts of their brain which are actually replaying the memory of walking through the maze, and that will improve that memory and lead to a better performance," said study co-author Robert Stickgold, director of Harvard Medical School's Center for Sleep and Cognition.

Dreams have fascinated people for ages. "We started out a few thousand years ago thinking they were messages from God," Stickgold said. "Then Freud came along and said they're messages from our pernicious, immoral subconscious."

Scientists later thought dreams were "random firings of nerves in the brain stem," Stickgold said. Now, he said, "we're starting to say that at one level, as we've all sort of known all along, it's doing something with our memories."

In the new study, published online April 22 in the journal Current Biology, researchers asked 99 subjects to play a video game in which they had to find their way through a maze with the help of a three-dimensional depiction of it.

Then the participants either stayed awake for two hours or took a nap. They played the maze game again five hours later.

Four participants reported dreaming about the maze while they napped. They were among those who improved the most when they played the maze game for the second time, improving 10 times as much as others who napped.

So did the dreamers learn as they dreamed? It's not entirely clear how the dreams are connected to the experience of playing the maze game, but Stickgold thinks "the dream process reflects a type of underlying brain activity" that determines "what the learning experience means, not learning how to do it better."

There's another mystery: Why did so few people dream about the maze? Fewer than 10 percent of those who took naps did. By contrast, Stickgold said, about 86 percent of those who played an Alpine racer skiing game dreamed about it, he said.

Maybe the game "is not rich enough, not compelling enough," he said. Future research, he said, will try to figure out why that is.

For now, though, at least one brain researcher who is familiar with the study is unimpressed with the findings.

"There is no convincing evidence that sleep has any effects on consolidating memory," said Irwin Feinberg, a professor in residence who studies sleep at the University of California at Davis. Sleep clearly isn't necessary for people to remember things, he said.

But Stickgold said that's a misunderstanding of his research. "No one in the field suggests that you need to sleep to learn things or retain memories," he said.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has details on sleep.



SOURCES: Robert Stickgold, associate professor, psychiatry, and director, Center for Sleep and Cognition, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Irwin Feinberg, M.D., professor in residence, University of California at Davis; April 22, 2010, Current Biology, online


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

Related medicine news :

1. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
2. Road mapping could be key to curing TB
3. What if You Could Help to Influence the NYC Taxi of Tomorrow?
4. Stronger Ozone Standard Could Dramatically Reduce Asthma, Premature Deaths
5. Mechanical forces could affect gene expression
6. Anger Could Ruin Your Relationship
7. New research on type 2 diabetes could benefit young adults with the condition
8. Biomarker could help doctors tailor treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
9. Stress Hormone Could Be Key to Alcoholism
10. Rotavirus Vaccine Could Save Millions of Children Worldwide
11. Vitamin D supplements could fight Crohns disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 29, 2016 , ... Whole Health ... Amazon.com, their new KlipPro KP-240L clipper is available to the public. This is an ... is substantially wider than the average clipper. , Everything about this product is concentrated ...
(Date:5/28/2016)... ... May 28, 2016 , ... After a year and a half of planning the ... extraordinary event. The Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference was held May 2 -4, 2016 ... and the United Kingdom came together to explore the many pathways individuals use to get ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... W.S. Badger Co. Inc ., the maker of certified organic ... one of the best small businesses for new dads by Fatherly, the digital lifestyle ... providing progressive benefits to new parents on the organization’s 2016 Best Places to ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In response ... many who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with the ... “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively unknown, ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... With a team of certified experts, Validation Center is ... GMP accreditation, Validation Center is also a registered authority of the international system ... Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited and only offers its clients the latest technology, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 LabStyle ... Dario™ Diabetes Management Tool, today announced that the Company,s Chief ... Marcum MicroCap Conference being held June 1-2 in ... being held June 7-9 in Los Angeles, CA. ... discuss recent corporate and operational milestones, including the U.S. FDA ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... Kitov Pharmaceuticals ... late-stage drug development, today announced the completion of ... batches required for registration of KIT-302 with the ... Kitov,s announcement in December 2015, that ... primary efficacy endpoint. "We are fortunate ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 According to a new market ... - U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast ... U.S. was valued at US$ 5.89 Bn in 2014 and ... 2015 to 2023 to reach US$ 7.99 Bn in 2023. ... emerging needle free drug delivery devices and the market is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: