Sleeping brains can process and respond to words

日期:2019-03-05 07:10:04 作者:是傅 阅读:

TALKING in your sleep is annoying, but listening may yet prove useful. It seems sleeping brains not only recognise words, but can also categorise them and respond in a predefined way. This could one day help us to learn more efficiently. A team led by Sid Kouider at the Ecole Normale Supérieur in Paris, France, asked 18 volunteers to classify spoken words as either animal or object by pressing buttons with their right or left hand. Brain activity was recorded using EEG, allowing the team to see the spikes in activity that show the volunteers were preparing to move a hand. Once the process had become automatic, the volunteers were asked to continue the task as they drifted off to sleep. The team presented them with a new set of words as they slept. Their brains continued to prepare to make the movement appropriate to each word’s category – even though they were no longer moving their hands. Kouider suggests that the task had been automated in a way that bypasses the prefrontal cortex, an area suppressed during sleep. On waking, the volunteers were unable to recall any of the new words, but Kouider is now looking at whether the approach can be extended so that new information is retained (Current Biology, This article appeared in print under the headline “Sleeping brains can classify words” More on these topics: