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Research supporting/exploring that sleep is deeply involved in learning and memory functions:

  1. “Sleeping Brain, Learning Brain: The Role of Sleep for Memory Systems,” NeuroReport, Dec. 21, 2001, Vol. 12, Issue 18, pp A111-A124: These studies convincingly support the idea that sleep is deeply involved in memory functions in humans
  2. “Studies of Information Processing in Sleep,” Psychophysiology, Jan. 2007, Vol. 12, Issue 6, pp 624-629: “The conclusion is the results appear to indicate differential availability of the mechanisms of long-term memory, short-term memory, and stimulus preprocessing in the various stages of sleep.”
  3. “Active processing of declarative knowledge during REM-sleep dreaming,” Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 6, Issue 4, pp 307-320: The results strongly suggest that REM sleep is involved with the efficient memory processing of cognitive procedural material.
  4. “Immediate as well as delayed post learning sleep but not wakefulness enhances declarative memory consolidation in children,” Journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Jan., 2008, Vol. 89, Issue 1, pp 76-80: “The results support the hypothesis that sleep plays an active role in declarative memory consolidation even if delayed and further show for the first time the importance of sleep for declarative memory consolidation during childhood.”
  5. “Auditory Event-Related Potentials Studies of Information Processing During Human Sleep,” International Journal of Psychophysiology, Vol. 45, Issue 3, Dec. 2002, pp 243-255. It demonstrates that the sleeping subject may detect stimulus deviance and may realize some semantic analysis of the stimuli.
  6. “Auditory information processing during human sleep as revealed by event-related brain potentials,” Clinical Neurophsiology, Vol.112, Issue 11, Nov. 2001, pp 2031-2045: The sleeping brain is able to automatically detect stimulus occurrence and trigger an orienting response towards that stimulus if its degree of novelty is large; (2) auditory stimuli are represented in the auditory system and maintained for a period of time in sensory memory, making the automatic-change detection during sleep possible; and (3) there are specific brain mechanisms (sleep-specific ERP components associated with the presence of vertex waves and K-complexes) by which information processing can be improved during non-rapid eye movement sleep.
  7. “Neural representations during sleep: From sensory processing to memory traces,” Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Vol. 10, Oct. 2006, pp 1016: When subjects learned to discriminate two complex auditory patterns in wakefulness, an increase in the MMN was obtained in both wake and REM states. The automatic detection of the infrequent complex auditory pattern may therefore be improved in both brain states by reactivating information from long-term memory. These findings suggest that long-term learning-related neural changes are accessible during REM sleep as well.
  8. “Language Processing during Natural Sleep in a 6-Year-Old Boy, as Assessed with Functional MR Imaging,” American Journal of Neuroradiology, Vol. 24, Jan. 2003, pp 42-44: Our findings suggest that language processing does occur during natural sleep, even in young children. Our observations have two major implications: First, they demonstrate that language processing during sleep is not an exclusive function of the mature brain but that it can already be detected in young children in whom language functions are still developing

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