Learning In Your Sleep
New study shows that our brains can learn while we doze.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: August 29th, 2012
Further study is planned to determine what information can be learned during sleep and what can’t.
ou may have heard about various products that promise to teach you a foreign language, help you study for an exam, or just improve your outlook on life, all while you sleep. The learn-while-you-sleep idea has been around for quite some time—it was a minor plot point in Aldus Huxley’s 1931 dystopian novel Brave New World, and perhaps more famously in an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer orders sleep-learning weight-loss tapes but is instead sent vocabulary-builder tapes. Experts have long considered sleep-learning to be a fantasy, but new studies suggest that some types of learning may be possible during sleep.
A study recently published in the journal Nature Neurosciene demonstrates that people who were introduced to a certain odor after hearing a certain tone while asleep, would respond to the same tone while awake by sniffing, indicating that they were anticipating the odor they encountered during sleep.
The study also showed that these associations were formed more strongly during non-rapid-eye-movement (REM) phases of sleep. Further study is planned to determine what information can be learned during sleep and what can’t.
It remains to be seen whether this will lead to an ability to successfully learn foreign languages, or shed pounds, or increase vocabulary, but it does show that the brain is more active during sleep than previously thought.
[Source: Science Daily]