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How the Brain learns during Sleep (A02)

The Press Department of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum reports on their news Portal: Sleep helps to consolidate memories. Researchers from Bochum and Bonn have investigated how exactly this works. Even things that we forget are not immediately gone.

Hui Zhang and Nikolai Axmacher, together with researchers from the University of Bonn, have investigated which activity patterns occur in the brain when people remember or forget things. They were interested in how the brain replays and stores during sleep what it had learned before. The team recorded the brain activity of epilepsy patients who had electrodes implanted into their brain for the purpose of surgical planning. One result: During sleep, the brain even reactivates memory traces that it can no longer remember later on.

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