Researchers from Concordia University in Canada and the University of Liege in Belgium have found in a study that Brainwaves produced during sleep helps us to store new information in our memory which helps boost learning. The study, published in the journal NeuroImage, shows how learned information turns into reliable memories during sleep.
Brainwaves — specifically, ones called sleep spindles, are fast bursts of electrical activity produced by neurons mainly during Stage 2 sleep, prior to deep sleep. Using medical imaging machines, researchers were able to assess brain activity related to these waves. Thanh Dang-Vu, Associate Professor at Concordia University said, it’s hypothesised that sleep spindles play an important role in transferring information from the hippocampus to the neocortex.
This has the effect of increasing the strength of memories. To get the images they needed, the team used both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They applied these tools to a group of student volunteers during and after a lab-based face-sequencing task.