- When information is first acquired, it is tagged for its potential importance or value.
- Such tagging is influenced by multiple factors such as repetition, attention, emotion, or purpose.
- Valuable memories get preferentially rehearsed, either through conscious will or by covert (implicit) brain processes.
- Rehearsal episodes reactive the memory and enhance long-term remembering because each re-consolidation episode builds on prior ones and strengthens the neural circuits that store the memory.
- Effectiveness of recall during rehearsal is promoted by use of relevant cues, that is, information that was associated with the original learning material.
- Such cues are effective, even when delivered during sleep.
- Groups 1 and 2 were tested to see how well they could remember where each object had appeared during the learning phase. They then took a 90 min nap while their EEGs were recorded. Half of these subjects heard white noise while the other have was presented the original sound cues of low-value images during non-REM sleep at a level that did not cause awakening. At the end of the nap, recall was again tested.
- The procedure in two other groups was similar except that these subjects did not nap. One of these groups watched a movie during the 90 minutes after the learning session, while the other group listed to the low-value sound cues while performing a working memory task.
2.. Antony, J. W, Gobel, E. W., O’Hare, J., K., Reber, P. J., and Paller, K. A. (2012). Cued memory reactivation during sleep influences skill learning. Nat. Neurosci. 15: 1114:1116.
2. Oudiette, D., Antony, J. W., Creery, J. D., and Paller, K. A. (2013) The role of memory reactivation during wakefulness and sleep in determining which memories endure. J. Neurosci. 33(15): 6672-6678.