How the brain consolidates memories during sleep.

Researchers in the group of Prof Dr Nikolai Axmacher at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have studied which brain processes consolidate memories during sleep. They found clear parallels to findings from experimental animal studies. The RUB’s science magazine Rubin reports on the work of the Bochum neuropsychologists.

/…/ Ripples are a specific kind of brain activity. A group of interconnected nerve cells sends out signals at high frequency for a short period of time. In the EEG they appear as a characteristic wave form. One theory is: After a ripple event, a brain area is more receptive for long-term storage of reactivated information. /…/ “Individual stimuli, in our case landscape images, are reactivated during sleep, and the ripples seem to actively maintain this reactivation,” explains Nikolai Axmacher. However, the researchers found this enhancement mechanism only for the reactivation of those images that were recalled during the final test.

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