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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Relationship Between Memory and Sleep

The researchers found that the information can be stored, preferably delivered by reinforcing stimuli during sleep.

When you are studying for exams, is there something you can do while you sleep to keep well informed?

"The question is, 'What determines which information is stored and lost?'" Said one neuroscientist Ken Paller.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Paller and colleagues at Northwestern University are studying the relationship between memory and sleep, as well as the possibility of increasing the capacity of your memory during sleep.

"We think the stages of sleep are important for brain memory. However, much evidence indicates that what is very important for some types of memory is slow brain wave sleep (slow-wave sleep). "Obviously Paller.

Slow-wave sleep is often referred to as deep sleep and consists of stages 3 and 4 of sleep "without the blink of an eye fast" or NREM (non-rapid-eye-movement).

Group members demonstrate two Paller lab tests they run against the study participants to Science Nation. In the first experiment, two subjects studied music in a format similar to a game of Guitar Hero. During a brief nap after learning only a single song that is played with a good few times, to strengthen memory in playing a musical without the music reinforces the other. Paller wanted to know whether subjects can produce music that is played is more accurate when in a state of sleep.

In the second exercise, the subjects were asked to memorize the location of the 50 objects are displayed on a computer screen. The presentation of each object has been added with unique voices. During nap after learning, recall of 25 objects have been reinforced by 25 votes were played. In this case, Paller wanted to know whether subjects could remember the location of objects better when mixed with the sound played while sleeping.

The researchers recorded electrical activity generated in the brain using EEG electrodes attached to the scalp. So that they can determine if the subject enters a state of "deep sleep" and only those who participated in the experiment strengthening memory. In both experiments, participants remember well what was strengthened when they fall asleep compared to what is not reinforced.

"We think that the memory process occurs during sleep at night." Said Paller. "We are at the first step in finding out what kind of memory that can be strengthened, how much reinforcement effects that can occur and what stimuli can be used to enable the memory comes back, so it can be better when combined."

Paller goal is to better understand the brain's mechanisms for memory tasks or memory. So it can help people who have problems in memory, including those who knew him forgetful in line with their age.

"We feel the lack of deep sleep as we get older. Of course, the brain mechanisms come into play to let us remember things, including some of the processes that occur during sleep. So there are many ways to find out how our memory works, but I think it's fair to say people who are there when you wake up is partly a function of what your brain is doing when you are sleeping. "Obviously Paller. He said the reactivation method is useful to improve what they have learned people.

"What is wonderful about this experiment is Dr. Paller found 'deep sleep' as a critical window of time during which the memory can be increased selectively for specific experience with reactivation method unconsciously. "Said Akaysha Tang, director of cognitive neuroscience program at NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic.

"Usually, awareness exercises of rote material is needed if one wants to remember things better or keep it longer and we have to find the time to review it," said Tang. "Dr. Paller and his laboratory team members showed an increase in selective as it can be achieved unconsciously and without demanding more than an hour of the wake. So, in addition to attract all those who sleep to memorize the material, it would be possible to combine memory with sleep with lullabies scientific program in the future! "