Navigation Links
Learn that tune while fast asleep
Date:6/24/2012

EVANSTON, Ill. Want to nail that tune that you've practiced and practiced? Maybe you should take a nap with the same melody playing during your sleep, new provocative Northwestern University research suggests.

The research grows out of exciting existing evidence that suggests that memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be strengthened in the process.

In the Northwestern study, research participants learned how to play two artificially generated musical tunes with well-timed key presses. Then while the participants took a 90-minute nap, the researchers presented one of the tunes that had been practiced, but not the other.

"Our results extend prior research by showing that external stimulation during sleep can influence a complex skill," said Ken A. Paller, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and senior author of the study.

By using EEG methods to record the brain's electrical activity, the researchers ensured that the soft musical "cues" were presented during slow-wave sleep, a stage of sleep previously linked to cementing memories. Participants made fewer errors when pressing the keys to produce the melody that had been presented while they slept, compared to the melody not presented.

"We also found that electrophysiological signals during sleep correlated with the extent to which memory improved," said lead author James Antony of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Northwestern. "These signals may thus be measuring the brain events that produce memory improvement during sleep."

The age-old myth that you can learn a foreign language while you sleep is sure to come to mind, said Paul J. Reber, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern and a co-author of the study.

"The critical difference is that our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you've already learned," Reber said. "Rather than learning something new in your sleep, we're talking about enhancing an existing memory by re-activating information recently acquired."

The researchers, he said, are now thinking about how their findings could apply to many other types of learning.

"If you were learning how to speak in a foreign language during the day, for example, and then tried to reactivate those memories during sleep, perhaps you might enhance your learning."

Paller said he hopes the study will help them learn more about the basic brain mechanisms that transpire during sleep to help preserve memory storage.

"These same mechanisms may not only allow an abundance of memories to be maintained throughout a lifetime, but they may also allow memory storage to be enriched through the generation of novel connections among memories," he said.

The study opens the door for future studies of sleep-based memory processing for many different types of motor skills, habits and behavioral dispositions, Paller said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hilary Hurd Anyaso
h-anyaso@northwestern.edu
847-491-4887
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Treating Dyslexia Before Kids Learn to Read
2. Emotional Trauma May Hurt Toddlers Later Learning
3. $9 million grant awarded to UH to study, treat learning disabilities
4. Excessive sleepiness may be cause of learning, attention and school problems
5. Listening in, researchers learn about end-of-life communication
6. DotComSecrets Invites Professionals to Learn Great Tips On How to Make a Handsome Income By Working As Local Internet Marketing Consultants
7. Routine Kidney Disease Screening Not Worthwhile, Experts Say
8. Breathing Smog While Pregnant May Worsen Asthma in Offspring
9. Many Suffer Leg, Lung Clots While Hospitalized: CDC
10. 1 in 3 Teens Admits to Texting While Driving
11. High Schoolers Can 'Smile' While Exploring Dental Careers at Summer Camp in Maine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... February 07, 2016 , ... ... empowers employers and organizations with the tools and information to lower the costs, ... to cut the cost of providing employee healthcare benefits by as much as ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to sponsor ... event brings together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the US. ... Bay Area Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC as ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... Pekin, IL (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 ... ... the recovery phases of eating disorder treatment helps to reduce the frequency and ... “Tasks of the Recovery Phase: Re-Establishing Healthy Identity and Purpose,” will explore the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... VeloReality ... lighter, sleeker next generation LYNX VR Indoor Trainer with multi-rider capability to an ... and manufacturing not only reduce the weight of the unit, they also enhance ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The event is being held on April 7, 2016 from ... Triumph Over Parkinson’s will fund nearly $100,000 for research for the care and cure ... disease and is the architect of this informative event to raise awareness and funds ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth ... at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.  ... taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. http://www.aethlonmedical.com .  ... after the conclusion of the live event. The panel discussion ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , February 5, 2016 ... market research report "Fetal (Labor & Delivery) and Neonatal ... Warmer, Incubator, Pulse Oximeter, Phototherapy/Jaundice Management Devices, CPAP, Capnograph, ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the global market over the ... estimated at USD 6.28 Billion in 2015 and is ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 For hospitals considering enrollment ... already participating in the program, the Health Resources and ... as the , Mega-Guidance , could have significant impact ... published in September 2016. Essential Insights , ... Marketing , summarizes the Mega-Guidance,s key proposed changes, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: