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Possible Missing Link Between Sleep and Improved Memory

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – A team of sleep researchers at the University of California, Riverside, led by psychology professor Sara C. Mednick, has found that the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for control of bodily functions not consciously directed (such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestive processes) plays a role in promoting memory consolidation – the process of converting information from short-term to long-term memory – during sleep.

The groundbreaking study, “Autonomic Activity During Sleep Predicts Memory Consolidation in Humans,” appears in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mednick and her team demonstrated, for the first time, that increases in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity during sleep is correlated with memory improvement.

Read more: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/37920