Did you know that…..
A recent study, published by The Journal of Neuroscience, shows that the mere expectancy that a memory will beused in a future determines whether or not sleep significantlybenefits consolidation of this memory?
In that study the person had to learn”word paired associates” before retentionperiods of sleep or wakefulness. The scientifics found that post-learning sleep comparedwith wakefulness produced a strong improvement at delayed retrievalonly if the subjects had been informed about the retrieval testafter the learning period. But if they had not been informed, retrievalafter retention sleep did not differ from that after the wakeretention interval.
The conclusion was the following : sleep preferentially benefits consolidationof memories that are relevant for future behavior, presumablythrough a SWS (slow-wave sleep ) dependent reprocessing of these memories.
That study, entitled “Sleep Selectively Enhances Memory Expected to Be of Future Relevance”, has been carried out by Germans and Swiss investigators of Department of Neuroendocrinology, Lübeck, (Susanne Diekelmann) and the Department of Medical Psychology, Tübingen University, (Jan Born).
(Edited by María Moya Guirao, M.D.)