DailyDirt: Learning In Your Sleep
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping, so some people would like to make (better?) use of the time we supposedly waste lying in bed each night. People have tried learning foreign languages on tape while asleep. People want to train themselves to quit smoking while they snore away. The list of things people might want to try to learn unconsciously is endless -- because it seems like an effortless way to try to train our brains. Here are just a few links on the topic of sleep learning and some successful examples of it.
- A recent sleep learning study shows that it's possible to modify a person's behavior while awake by training them while they're asleep. Sleeping subjects were presented with certain (pleasant or offensive) odors and audible tones at the same time, and when they were awake, playing the tones altered the trained person's sniffing and breathing behavior -- eg. people exposed to unpleasant odors would take shallow breaths after hearing the tones. [url]
- Your brain automatically does some pattern matching even when you're not conscious of it doing so, and fMRI experiments have shown that your brain can learn without the person actively knowing it. These results could point to other kinds of unconscious learning, and even therapies that could train your brain to be happier. [url]
- The relationship between sleep, learning and memory formation is a fascinating field -- one that is getting some Department of Defense funding, unsurprisingly. We are a long way from training people to do any of much use while they're sleeping, but someday.... [url]