Medindia

X

Sleep Helps in Learning New Tasks: Research

by Bidita Debnath on  March 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM Research News   - G J E 4
At University of Chicago, researchers have claimed that sleep plays an important role in the brain's ability to consolidate learning when two new competing tasks are learned in the same day.
 Sleep Helps in Learning New Tasks: Research
Sleep Helps in Learning New Tasks: Research
Advertisement

The new study, which measured starlings ability to recognize new songs, showed that learning a second task could undermine performance of a previously learned task.

Advertisement
For the study, the researchers did two experiments using 24 starlings each.

They played two recorded songs from other starlings and tested the birds ability to recognize and repeat the two songs. After learning to recognize the two songs, the birds were later trained to recognize and perform a different pair of songs.

The researchers examined the effect of sleep on the consolidation of starlings memories in the experiment. After learning the second pair of songs, they were tested on the first before they went to sleep. They varied the time between testing.

Researchers found that regardless of the time between the daytime testing periods, learning the second pair of songs interfered with the birds ability to remember the first pair.

Learning the first pair of songs also interfered with the birds ability to remember the second pair when they were tested on the second pair before they went to sleep.

When the starlings were allowed to sleep, however, they showed increases in performance on both the first and second pair of songs, suggesting that sleep consolidation enhances their memory, overcoming the effects of interference UChicago News reported.

When taught a new song pair after awaking, the birds were still able to remember what they had learned on the previous day, despite the new interference.

The research has been published in Psychological Science.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All