By Hilary Hurd Anyaso
Leading theories propose that sleep presents an opportune time for important, new memories to become stabilized. And it’s long been known which brain waves are produced during sleep. But in a new study, researchers set out to better understand the brain mechanisms that secure memory storage.
The team from Northwestern and Princeton universities set out to find more direct and precisely timed evidence for the involvement of one particular sleep wave — known as the “sleep spindle.”
In the study, sleep spindles, described as bursts of brain activity typically lasting around one second, were linked to memory reactivation. The paper, “Sleep spindle refractoriness segregates periods of memory reactivation,” published today in the journal Current Biology.
“The most novel aspect of our study is that we found these spindles occur rhythmically — about every three to six seconds — and this rhythm is related to memory,” said…
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