Learning during our sleep comes not only from the use of the brain, but also from the learning process itself.

Conclusion: Consolidation of learning that occurs during sleep is the result of a learning process and not just related to the processes in the nerves and areas of the brain.

Source: РИКЕН

One RIKEN researcher and his colleagues showed that the integration of learning that occurs during sleep is the result of a learning process, not just because certain areas of the brain are overused during training.

This discovery has been published Journal of Neurology and resolves a long-standing dispute among dream researchers.

In Japan, many school students are too late to complete exams, but according to Masako Tamaki, of the RIKEN Brain Science Center, this is a self-defeating strategy. “When you want to learn something, you have to go to bed at a normal time,” he recommends. “Students study too late, but if they don’t get enough sleep, a lot of that knowledge will be lost.”

This is because the new knowledge and skills we acquire when we wake up are integrated through the processing of nerves that take place during sleep.

But there is much debate about how this unification came about. Is it simply because the neurons that are used so much during training are regulated to regenerate during sleep? Or is there something in the learning process that leads to this consolidation?

Now, strong evidence of a model related to the study of sleep apnea has been found by Yuka Sasaki at Brown University in the United States and Tobacco, who first became interested in sleep research after an episode of sleep paralysis in which he thought. . booed by a stranger.

Two groups of young volunteers each went through two training sessions with visual exercises. For the first group, the two exercises were the same and they improved in practice. In contrast, the second study period was designed for the second group to eliminate the study that was achieved in the first session, and therefore they showed little overall improvement.

The two groups then fell asleep and their performance was measured in visual exercises during awakening. The results provided strong support for the study-related model.

But there is much debate about how this unification came about. The image is in the public domain

First, behavioral outcomes showed that the first group showed significant improvement after sleep, while the second group showed almost nothing despite being trained at the same time.

Second, monitoring of brain signal during sleep showed that two types of activities corresponding to this model were involved in processing, namely theta activity during rapid eye sleep (REM) and sigma activity during non-REM sleep.

However, research has shown no involvement of slow wave activity during non-REM sleep, which is associated with use-related processes.

These results confirmed the pair’s doubts: training, not just brain use, is important for integration during sleep. “Our previous studies were more consistent with the study-related model,” notes Tamaki.

About this study research report

Author: Adam Phillips
Source: РИКЕН
Contact: Adam Phillips – RIKEN
Description: The image is in the public domain

Original research: Closed access.
Masako Tobacco et al. “Teaching sleep-related visual perceptions is consistent with a learning-related model.” Journal of Neurology


The ease of sleep dependence of visual perception learning is consistent with the learning-related model

How sleep leads to offline achievement in learning remains controversial. The use-dependent model assumes that sleep processing, which results in increased work based on total cortical use during awakening, while the learning-dependent model assumes that this processing is specific to learning.

Here, we found evidence that the model related to learning in visual perception learning (VPL) is supported in humans (both sexes).

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It shows a woman wearing a mask looking at a laptop in a dark room

First, we measured the strength of spontaneous vibrations during sleep after two training conditions that required the same amount of training or use of a visual card; one VPL is generated (learning mode) while the other is not (interference mode).

During postoperative sleep, slow wave activity (SWA) and sigma activity during slow-wave sleep (NREM) and theta activity during REM sleep were identified as the source of early visual areas using retinotopic mapping. With the use-dependent model is inconsistent, only in the case of training, sigma activity and theta, not SWA, are region-specific trained and correlated with correlation achievements.

Second, we investigated the roles of the occipital sigmoid and the activity of theta during sleep. Occipital sigmoid activity during NREM sleep was significantly associated with work performance in pre-sleep training; However, occipital theta activity during REM sleep was associated with normalization of pre-sleep training, which was shown to be consistent with the intervention of post-sleep training with the region-trained method. Occipital SWA was not associated with offline achievement or stabilization.

These results suggest that sleep processing, which leads to work performance, depends on training in VPL and includes occipital sigmoid activity and theta during sleep.


This study provides strong evidence that it can help resolve long-standing disputes surrounding sleep processing, which reinforces learning (performance benefits). There are two opposing models.

The use-dependent model assumes that sleep processing, which results in increased efficiency, occurs due to general cortical use during awakening, while the learning-dependent model assumes that processing is specifically designed for learning.

Using a study of visual perception and intervention paradigms, we found that processing did not take place after general cortical use.

Furthermore, sigma activity during non-accelerated eye sleep (REM) and theta activity during REM sleep in the occipital regions were identified in the processing, consistent with the study-related model and not the use-dependent model. These results support a study-related model.

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