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The brain learns in your sleep

The sleeping brain not only remembers the old but is able to perceive something new – especially if it’s new will come to him during the fast phase of sleep.


(Photo: mimagephotos / Depositphotos.)

It is known that sleep promotes memory consolidation – neuroscientists say that during sleep the memory konsolidiruyutsya, that is transformed from short-term to long-term. But memory is something that is already in the brain. And here are the results of researchers from the Higher normal school suggests that sleep helps the brain not only manipulate the already existing information but also to learn something new.

Previously Thomas Andrillon (Thomas Andrillon) and his colleagues found that the sleeping brain is able to perceive external sounds, and at different stages of sleep the reaction of the brain on what is different. Now the task was to find out how long delayed in the brain that came to him while he slept .

To participate in the experiment with training in the dream, I invited twenty adults who during sleep and before going to sleep replaying the recording with a white noise in the recording from time to time there are sounds that stood out from the General noise and the point of this was to then, after awakening, to find these same sounds.

For sleeping people watched in several ways: using electroencephalography, when tracing the electrical activity of the brain, eog, when tracking eye movement and electrical activity of the eye muscles, and electromyography when watching the condition of skeletal muscle – so it was possible to determine exactly when one phase ends and sleep begins.

As you know, the dream goes through several stages, among which stands out a quick phase, or REM sleep. It turned out that people really can remember what I heard in my sleep – but only if they heard it during REM sleep. In an article in Nature Communications , the authors write that during the fast phase in the brain there is a characteristic wave, which would indicate that the training – that is the person in the dream had indeed learned new information; and during deep, slow sleep phases no “obajatelnyj” there were no waves.

However, according to the portal The Scientist, some experts say that you need to be careful with the assertion that the brain is capable of learning during sleep. Indeed, the brain learns new information, but we don’t know whether it happened because of sleep, due to the specific “sleepy” neurophysiology, or had a short-lived revival. We already wrote about the fact that the human brain is able to sleep “in parts”; so it may be that there is some part of the brain waking up, remembered the sounds heard and joined back to total sleep.

But, anyway, none of the participants of the experiment were not fully awake. Of course, the sequence of sounds is still quite a simple thing, but it is possible that during sleep the brain can remember something more complex, and it is possible that in the near future we should expect, for example, a special educational program called “Foreign language while you sleep.”

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