Sound Cues During Sleep can Boost Memory - Study

Sleep

With new developments and studies, scientist are learning more and more about the way our senses are alert when we are sleeping, maybe even more alert than when we are awake. Some years back, a study had reported that scents exposed to a sleeping person could help "trigger learning by boosting the brain's ability to retain new memories". A very recent study has now revealed that sounds can do the same.

Subjects analyzed in the study, which is detailed in the November 20 issue of Science, were able to recall a recently learned memory when they were given "sound cues" for memory retention while napping. They did not, however, remember having heard the cues upon awakening.

"We have known that the memory system is quite active during sleep and that the memory can be strengthened at this time”, explained research leader John D. Rudoy, of Northwestern University.

For the sake of research, 12 youngsters were required to learn a new memory task and take a nap in a quiet, dark room, and electrodes were placed on their scalps to appropriately monitor brain activity. While napping, participants were given sound cues, and tests conducted after they awakened helped researchers confirm the study's hypothesis.

Findings of the study have managed to trigger much interest and some are speculating that these could be employed to improve SAT scores, while others are asserting that these are more proof of the fact that we need to get a good 8 hours of sleep every day.