Retention of new memories affected by sleep

Exposure to new information during normal sleep can compromise the accuracy of memory but might be enhanced during slow-wave sleep (SWS), a new study has found.

A group of researchers, led by Dr Dylan Barnes, demonstrated that mice who were introduced to new odour information while asleep found it more difficult to remember the difference between the learned smell and previously encountered smells while awake. When a learned odour was replayed during SWS, however, mice demonstrated increased memory of the odour compared to mice who were reintroduced to it while awake.

This research could increase understanding of why the brain shuts out sensory information during deep sleep, and how memory is strengthened and maintained.

Read more at City University of New York