26 November 2009

sleep to train motor learning

Sleep success: How to make ZZZs = memory@new scientist

Catherine Siengsukon of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City reviewed the evidence for "offline practice" – practising skills during sleep – earlier this year. She reckons that motor learning – training brain areas that control muscles - during sleep could help rehabilitate young, brain-damaged patients.

EM sleep seems to be important for perceptual memory, "like when you're learning to play darts", while the consolidation of "declarative" memories – facts and events – happens during deep slow-wave sleep.

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