Scientists have found a way to learn a foreign language in your sleep

Long known that sleep strengthens the assimilation of new information we receive during the wakeful state. Now researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland suggest that learning can also happen during deep or slow wave sleep, reported in the journal Current Biology.

Many sleep studies relate to the processes that stabilize and strengthen memories formed during periods of wakefulness. Currently, there is evidence that the reproduction of information during sleep strengthens the memory and “embeds” the information in the previously acquired stock of knowledge in the brain.

Ученые нашли способ выучить иностранный язык во сне

However, one question for scientists is still a mystery: if the state of sleep strengthens memories that are formed during waking hours, why the very the sleep state can not form memories, which then spill over into the waking state?

To try to answer this question, researchers conducted the following experiment. Using electroencephalogram (EEG), experts recorded during daytime sleep activity brain waves of a group of 41 people, which included healthy men and women. During the experiment, the participants were sleeping with in-ear, through which the researchers were losing to them recording different pairs of words. In each pair, one word was in their native language, and the other was the false “pseudosasa”. After waking up, the subjects performed the tests on a memory test.

The researchers found that the volunteers coded during sleep, the relationship between the familiar word in one’s native language and “pseudosasa” under two conditions. The first condition was the repetition of word pairs, and the second – order acoustic performance of the second word coincides with the active phase of slow sleep.

According to experts, slow or deep sleep is the most useful stage to strengthen the memories that are formed during wakefulness. When the brain enters REM sleep, the cells gradually sinhroniziruete their activities.

The scientists also noted that the volunteer recall of words learned in a dream, during the test, a memory test coincided with activity in the hippocampus and areas of the brain responsible for language skills. This is the same region of the brain that are active when we learn new information during wakefulness. According to the researchers, they help us to remember new information, regardless of the prevailing condition: the unconscious during deep sleep or conscious during wakefulness.