Research finds memory reactivation — combined with quality sleep — is key — ScienceDaily


For those who rarely forget a face, but struggle with names, the remedy for boosting learning may as near as your pillow.

New research by Northwestern University is the first to document the effect reactivating memory during sleep has on face-name learning.

The researchers found that people’s name recall improved significantly when memories of newly learned face-name associations were reactivated while they were napping. Key to this improvement was uninterrupted deep sleep.

“It’s a new and exciting finding about sleep, because it tells us that the way information is reactivated during sleep to improve memory storage is linked with high-quality sleep,” said lead author Nathan Whitmore, a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Northwestern.

The paper, “Targeted memory reactivation of face-name learning depends on ample and undisturbed slow-wave sleep,” will…

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