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Sleep spindles may help in improving memory retention

IANS  |  New York 

Want to strengthen your cognitive skills regarding any relevant information? spindles can help you in retaining new memories related to any newly learned information when you

spindles are half-second to two-second bursts of oscillatory brain activity -- occurring during non-rapid eye movement stages two and three -- and measured in the 10 to 16 range on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Previous researches had shown that the number of spindles during the night could predict a person's the next day.

"While it has been shown previously that targeted reactivation can boost consolidation during sleep, we now show that spindles might represent the key underlying mechanism," said Bernhard Staresina, post-doctoral student at the

"Thus, direct induction of spindles -- for example, via transcranial electrical stimulation -- perhaps combined with targeted reactivation, may enable us to further improve performance while we "

For the study, published in the journal Current Biology, the researchers devised an experiment in which people learned to associate particular adjectives with particular objects and scenes.

Some study participants then took a 90-minute nap after their study session, whereas others stayed awake. While people napped, the researchers cued those associative memories and unfamiliar adjectives.

The results showed that the cues led to an increase in spindles.

Interestingly, the EEG patterns during spindles enabled the researchers to discern what types of memories -- objects or scenes -- were being processed.

"Our data suggest that spindles facilitate processing of relevant features during and that this process boosts consolidation," he said.

Also, the new understanding of the way the brain normally processes and strengthens memories during may help to explain how that process may go wrong in people with learning difficulties, the researchers added.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 10:16 IST