Acquisition and Processing of Information during States of REM Sleep and Slow-Wave Sleep.
Final rept. Sep 84-May 88,
CAMBRIDGE UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) DEPT OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
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Review, analysis, and summary of experimental literature on sleep learning. Findings include 1 Serious methodology flaws found in all reported positive results. No evidence that semantic learning occurs when verbal material is presented to sleeping subjects. 2 A critical but open-minded test of sleep learning has not been done. Recommendations made for an appropriate experiment. 3 If novel material is presented to the sleeping subject, there is danger that it may interfere with normal nightime processing of earlier, daytime experiences. 4 It is possible that external stimuli could be used to prompt and direct information processing during sleep to favor one set of material in preference to others. This could apply to skill learning as well as declarative memory with considerable potential relevance to soldier training.
- Anatomy and Physiology