Learning through sleep is possible? Scientists: sleeping brain can encode new information
Learn a new language while sleeping! – this may sound like a bad commercial, but new research provides evidence that something can also be learned during sleep. Of course, playing ourselves recordings in another language while we sleep will not make us know it exactly after a few nights. It can, however, increase our ability to learn new words, according to a study published in Current Biology.
Scientists have long known that sleep plays an important role in the process of remembering and learning. During one of the sleep phases, our mozgi are involved in organizing and consolidating information from the past day. Important things are remembered, while unimportant things are removed.
Until now, scientists believed that we can’t learn anything new during sleep. However, the research of scientistow from the University of Bern in Switzerland show that the ability of moThe brain for learning is also active during sleep.
The findings were published in the journal „Current Biology”.
– We found that sleeping mozg can encode new information and retain it for a longer period of time – mowi Marc Zust, cooruth of the research. – Moreover, the sleeping mozg is able to create new associations – adds.
The research consisted of playing pairs of recorded words to sleeping people, during the slow-wave sleep phaseow. The first was an invented expression of a non-existent language, the second its translation. The purpose of the study was to discover whether the newly created „pseudowords” will somehow be associated with the participants of the experiment.
It is worth mentioning at this point that the people taking part in the study did not know that any sounds were played to them at night. After the wake, the participants were presented with non-existent words, but this time without their translations. They were then asked to imagine an object thatory this word would represent and determined whether it is larger or smaller than a shoebox. With this, the researchers hoped to reach the subconscious of the subjects.
The researchers found that the participants in the experiment were able to correctly classify foreign words with an accuracy of 10 percent. higher than if they guessed. This result suggests that during sleep mozg can memorize.
– If sleeping people are presented with the word „bitkum”, and then pair them with the word „bird”, mozg can make new connections, whichore link a complete new word to an already existing bird concept in our mozgu – mowi Zust. – Such a trace in memory makes it so that when you hear a word after waking up „bitkum” you will associate it. You will have a subconscious premonition of the word, even if you are sure you are hearing it for the first time in your life,” he adds.
Memorization during sleep comes out better with phases of higher activity of the mozgu. U parts of osob participating in the study were conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during sleep. When sleeping humans were played new words, in mozgu activated areas responsible for language and the hippocampus – structures in mozgu responsible for the mainown with memory and the ability to learn.
– This means that the structures responsible for memory allow us to remember regardless of whether we are conscious or asleep – believes Zust.
The researchers hope that further research will help people with learning disabilities or older people with limited cognitive abilities. – It is amazing that we are capable of performing such sophisticated operations in mozgu even while sleeping – mowi Zust.