Navigation Links
Sleep Can Sharpen Your Memory

MONDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- External stimulation during sleep can help strengthen memory, which, in turn, can help you learn, a new study reports.

Researchers from Northwestern University noted that such stimulation could reinforce what people have already learned, but doesn't help them gain new skills.

"The critical difference is that our research shows that memory is strengthened for something you've already learned," the study's co-author, Paul Reber, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern, said in a university news release. "Rather than learning something new in your sleep, we're talking about enhancing an existing memory by reactivating information recently acquired."

In conducting the study, researchers taught participants how to play two musical tunes by pressing certain keys at certain times. After they learned how to play the artificially generated tunes, the participants took a 90-minute nap. While they slept, only one of the songs was played. The soft musical cues, the researchers noted, were played during slow-wave sleep, a stage of sleep that is linked to storing memories.

As the participants napped, the researchers recorded their electrical brain activity using electroencephalography. After they woke up, the participants made fewer mistakes when playing the tune that was played while they were sleeping than the one that was not played.

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

"We also found that electrophysiological signals during sleep correlated with the extent to which memory improved," added 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 researchers said they are investigating how their findings could possibly be applied to other types of learning, such as studying a foreign language. They noted their research could also lead to more studies on sleep-based memory-processing involving other types of skills, habits and behaviors.

The study was published June 24 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

More information

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on the brain and how it works.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, June 24, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, receives Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society
2. Learn that tune while fast asleep
3. Sleep May Ease Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease: Study
4. Sleep improves functioning in Parkinsons patients, but reasons remain elusive
5. Sleepy Pro Athletes May Have Shorter Careers
6. Snoring Isn’t Sexy Member, Dr. Mark Levy attends the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Meeting in Boston, MA
7. Former Vikings and NFL Greats Tackle Sleep Apnea at Upcoming Minneapolis Event
8. Old Bridge Sleep Center Named to Best of 2012 List
9. Sleep Apnea May Be Linked to Nerve Damage in Diabetics
10. Snoring Isn't Sexy Member Dr. Mark Levy attends Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
11. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Sleep Can Sharpen Your Memory 
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June ... sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, ... of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from ... avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this ... coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening ... industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, ... ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that ...      (Photo: ) , ... ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: