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Researchers at Northwestern University found that learning can occur during sleep and that even while one is asleep, it is possible to strengthen memory.
New research suggest that skill learning while sleeping is possible.
Researchers at Northwestern University found that learning can occur during sleep and that even when one is asleep, it is possible to strengthen memory.
The study asked participants to learn two new melodies using key-presses.
After being taught the keys, the participants napped for 90 minutes during which only one of key presses was played gently in the room.
While sleeping, the participants underwent an EEG that monitored their brain activity.
The melody that was played during the nap was learned much faster than the one without, say researchers, according to Red Orbit.
"Our results extend prior research by showing that external stimulation during sleep can influence a complex skill," said study lead author Ken A. Paller of Northwestern University, reported Medical Daily.
"We also found that electrophysiological signals during sleep correlated with the extent to which memory improved," continued co-author James Antony.
"These signals may thus be measuring the brain events that produce memory improvement during sleep."
The researchers caution that more studies need to be done on other complex skill development while sleeping such as learning a new language.
But they say there still may be hope for those who try.
“If you were learning how to speak in a foreign language during the day, for example, and then tried to reactivate those memories during sleep, perhaps you might enhance your learning,” said another co-author Paul J. Reber, according to Science Daily.
The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.