Memory and Sleep
Professor Karim Nader discusses evidence that deep sleep can benefit learning motor skills such as riding a bike.
Thereâ€™s been a long debate about what aspect of sleep can affect memory - is it REM sleep, is it non-REM sleep, also what kind of memories can be influenced by sleep? The old thinking used to be that our conscious memories could benefit from REM sleep and there was a sleep state that had very similar physiological properties to the awake state. But currently, I think the majority of the evidence would suggest slowâ€“wave [deep] sleep can be beneficial to skill learning kinds of memories - learning how to ride a bike, or learning how to do a motor task, things that are not necessarily under our conscious control.
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Professor Karim Nader explains that the striatum is important to learning motor tasks, such as driving or bike-riding.
Professor Karim Nader explains that different brain regions are responsible for different types of memory. The hippocampus mediates conscious memory.
Professor Karim Nader discusses a theory known as reconsolidation, which posits that when a memory is re-activated, it is subsequently re-stored.
Professor Karim Nader explains that consolidation is a theory of memory that attributes memory formation to changes in synaptic strength and efficiency.
Professor Karim Nader explains that long-term memories are traditionally thought of as being fixed in the brain.
Professor Karim Nader explains that short-term memories are more sensitive to disruption than long-term memories.
Professor Karim Nader explains that fear learning, which is mediated by the amygdala, is different from other forms of learning.
Researchers are using neuroimaging to look at what happens in the whole brain during sleep.
Temple Grandin, author of 'Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports From My Life With Autism' compares her brain to a visual web browser.
New research showing how memories take shape may lead to better treatments for unwanted memories as well.