Sleep connects the brain with memories

Sleep spindles have been found to play an important role in the formation and retention of memories . British and German researchers have revealed that recalling and reactivating lived experiences helps to rebuild memories of the human brain.


Our main means of strengthening memories during sleep is the reactivation of experiences or notions learned while awake, which allows the memories to solidify in long-term neocortical memory. We have discovered an intricate system of interaction within the brain that allows this reactivation.

Bernhard Staresina, professor at the University of Birmingham

To carry out the research, the team ran new tests. They planned to give information before the test participants took a nap. During the nap, the brain was then monitored by means of an encephalogram. Upon awakening, they were required to recall the information provided before sleep. A way to test the ability of the participants, linked to sleep, to store notions.


Reactivation of memory is specifically related to the presence of slow oscillations. These findings shed new light on the function of sleep for memory in humans, and emphasize the importance of regular sleep patterns to strengthen our ability to recall well-constructed memories.

Thomas Schreiner of the Ludwig-Maximilians University

The results of the test attested to a reactivation of the experiences already lived in the course of alternating slow / fused sleep oscillations. The intertwining of these two different brain activities reveals the intensity of the reactivation. In addition, it predicts the level of consolidation of human memory.

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