Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Asleep Or Awake We Retain Memory

Date:
March 29, 2006
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A human fMRI study showing how learning selectively modulates brain activity during wakefulness, providing novel evidence that "offline" activation patterns differ according to the preceding memory task and memory performance, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

After participants learned to perform either a procedural or a spatial task, learning-dependent, regional brain activity persisted and evolved with time, suggesting the neural integration of recent memories
Credit: Photo : Peigneux, et al

Sleeping helps to reinforce what we've learned. And brain scans have revealed that cerebral activity associated with learning new information is replayed during sleep. But, in a study published in the open access journal PLoS Biology, Philippe Peigneux and colleagues at the University of Liege demonstrate for the first time that the brain doesn't wait until night to structure information. Day and night, the brain doesn't stop (re)working what we learn.

Related Articles


Taking advantage of the new opportunities offered by 3 Tesla's functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)(*), Philippe Peigneux et al. recorded (or scanned) the cerebral activity of volunteers while they performed a ten-minute auditory attention task every half hour in two sessions spaced out over a few weeks. In each of these sessions, during the half hour between the first two scans of the attention task, the volunteer was given something new to learn. A third scan was then performed after a half-hour rest.

During one of the two sessions, the volunteer memorized a route in a virtual city he or she was exploring on a computer. This spatial navigation task is known to be dependent on the hippocampus, a cerebral structure that plays a vital role in learning. The other session was devoted to acquisition by repetition (or procedural learning) of new visuomotor sequences. For this task, it wasn't necessary that the subject be aware of what he or she was learning, and its success depends mainly on the integrity of the striatum and the related motor regions.

Compared with the first scan, the cerebral activity during the second and third scan of the auditory attention task was systematically modified by the kind of learning experience that took place between the first and second scans. Moreover, this post-learning activity evolved differently over time depending on the type of learning, and the subjects' recall abilities. These elements suggest active processing of the newly formed mnemonic traces, which could occur at the same time as other cognitive tasks.

More generally, this study from the ULg Cyclotron Research Centre demonstrates for the first time that the human brain does not simply put newly acquired information in standby until there is a period of calm or sleep to strengthen them. Rather, the brain continues to process them dynamically as soon as the learning episode has ended, even if it has to face an uninterrupted series of completely different cognitive activities.

(*) In 2003, the University of Liège acquired this high performance magnetic resonance imaging apparatus in support of the research being carried out at the University of Liège Cyclotron Research Centre.

Citation: Peigneux P, Orban P, Balteau E, Degueldre C, Luxen A, et al. (2006) Offline persistence of memory-related cerebral activity during active wakefulness. PLoS Biol 4(4): e100.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Asleep Or Awake We Retain Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060329085308.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2006, March 29). Asleep Or Awake We Retain Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060329085308.htm
Public Library of Science. "Asleep Or Awake We Retain Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060329085308.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins