Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found new support for the age-old advice to "sleep on it." Mice allowed to sleep after being trained remembered what they had learned far better than those deprived of sleep for several hours afterward.
The researchers also determined that the five hours following learning are crucial for memory consolidation; mice deprived of sleep five to 10 hours after learning a task showed no memory impairment. The results are reported in the May/June issue of the journal Learning & Memory.
"Memory consolidation happens over a period of hours after training for a task, and certain cellular processes have to occur at precise times," said senior author Ted Abel, assistant professor of biology at Penn. "We set out to pinpoint the specific window of time and area of the brain that are sensitive to sleep deprivation after learning."
Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
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