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Learning, Memory, and Sleep in Humans

Authors
Journal
Sleep Medicine Clinics
1556-407X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2010.12.005
Keywords
  • Slow Wave Sleep
  • Memory
  • Hippocampus
  • Rapid Eye Movement Sleep

Abstract

In spite of advances in understanding the processes that generate and maintain sleep, the functional significance of sleep remains a mystery. Numerous theories regarding sleep's function have been proposed, including homeostatic restoration, thermoregulation, tissue repair, and immune control, but the theory that has received enormous attention in the last decade concerns sleep's role in processing and storing memories. This article reviews evidence that sleep is critical for long-lasting memories. Although this article mostly focuses on memory consolidation, it also briefly reviews new evidence that sleep is essential for effective memory encoding.

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