Listening to lessons while sleeping reinforces memory

June 30, 2014
Science Daily/Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
When you have learned words in another language, it may be worth listening to them again in your sleep. A study has now shown that this method reinforces memory. "Our method is easy to use in daily life and can be adopted by anyone," says the study director.

Schreiner and Rasch believe that their results provide further evidence that sleep helps memory, probably because the sleeping brain spontaneously activates previously learned subject matter. Playing this subject matter back during sleep can reinforce this activation process and thus improve recall. For example, a person who plays a memory card game to the scent of roses, and is then re-exposed to the same scent while asleep, is subsequently better at remembering where a particular card is in the stack, as Rasch was able to show in another study a few years ago.

Schreiner and Rasch have now observed the beneficial effect of sleep on learning foreign words. A certain amount of swotting is still needed, though. "You can only successfully activate words that you have learned before you go to sleep. Playing back words you don't know while you're asleep has no effect," says Schreiner.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630093629.htm

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