(FUTURITY.ORG) — External stimulation during sleep can help people learn a skill, a recent study suggests.
In the Northwestern University study, research participants learned how to play two artificially generated musical tunes with well-timed key presses. Then while the participants took a 90-minute nap, the researchers presented one of the tunes that had been practiced, but not the other.
The research grows out of exciting existing evidence that suggests that memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be strengthened in the process.
“Our results extend prior research by showing that external stimulation during sleep can influence a complex skill,” says Ken A. Paller, professor of psychology and the study’s senior author.