Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleep Helps Reduce Errors In Memory, Research Suggests

Date:
September 11, 2009
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Sleep may reduce mistakes in memory, according to a first-of-its-kind study. The findings have practical implications for everyone from students flubbing multiple choice tests to senior citizens confusing their medications.

Sleep may reduce mistakes in memory, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by a cognitive neuroscientist at Michigan State University.

Related Articles


The findings, which appear in the September issue of the journal Learning & Memory, have practical implications for everyone from students flubbing multiple choice tests to senior citizens confusing their medications, said Kimberly Fenn, principal investigator and MSU assistant professor of psychology.

“It’s easy to muddle things in your mind,” Fenn said. “This research suggests that after sleep you’re better able to tease apart the incorrect aspect of that memory.”

Fenn and colleagues from the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis studied the presence of false memory in groups of college students. While previous research has shown that sleep improves memory, this study is the first to address errors in memory, she said.

Study participants were exposed to lists of words and then, 12 hours later, exposed to individual words and asked to identify which words they had seen or heard in the earlier session. One group of students was trained in the morning (10 a.m.) and tested after the course of a normal sleepless day (10 p.m.), while another group was trained at night and tested 12 hours later in the morning, after at least six hours of sleep.

Three experiments were conducted, using different stimuli. In each, the students who had slept had fewer problems with false memory – choosing fewer incorrect words.

How does sleep help? The answer isn’t known, Fenn said, but she suspects it may be due to sleep strengthening the source of the memory. The source, or context in which the information is acquired, is a vital element of the memory process.

Or perhaps the people who didn’t sleep during the study were simply bombarded with information over the course of the day, affecting their memory ability, Fenn said.

Further research is warranted, she said, adding that she plans to study different population groups, particularly the elderly.

“We know older individuals generally have worse memory performance than younger individuals. We also know from other research that elderly individuals tend to be more prone to false memories,” Fenn said. “Given the work we’ve done it’s possible that sleep may actually help them to reject this false information. And potentially this could help to improve their quality of life in some way.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Sleep Helps Reduce Errors In Memory, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910114136.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2009, September 11). Sleep Helps Reduce Errors In Memory, Research Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910114136.htm
Michigan State University. "Sleep Helps Reduce Errors In Memory, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910114136.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. 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