The Sleep-Memory Connection

  • By Melissa Salpietra and Susan K. Lewis
  • Posted 07.01.07
  • NOVA scienceNOW

What happens in your brain as you cycle through the various stages of sleep, and how does this activity affect learning and memory? See what scientists are learning about REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and other phases, and explore recent research linking sleep—and sleep deprivation—to different types of memories.

Launch Interactive

Explore the stages of a good night's sleep and the research linking sleep to memory.



(sleeping girl)
© Dan Lepp/Etsa/CORBIS
(brain waves)
adapted from image © 1995 Jaakkoo Malmivuo & Robert Plonsey / Bioelectromagnetism
© Kirklys
© Wilke
(PET scans)
adapted by permission from MacMillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Neuroscience/Maquet, P., et al. (2000). "Experience-Dependent Changes in Cerebral Activation During Human REM Sleep." Nature Neuroscience 3, 831-836. © 2000
© Gouin/Gouin Photography
(fingers on keyboard)
© Friis-Larsen
(word pairs)
© NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation
© van Vaerenbergh

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