Sunday , October 17 2021

Can you learn languages ​​while sleeping? | Science

In 1927, Alois Benjamin Saliger, a Czech entrepreneur, began selling a device that promised to change his life during sleep. Based on the idea that when we sleep, we come to some sort of hypnotic state, creating a device that repeatedly motivated customers while they were asleep, and then woke up ready to eat the world. Saliger's invention, convicted of fraud in 1919, turned out to be unfounded: the dream has nothing to do with the state of hypnosis. However, further studies have shown that it is possible to reinforce some types of learning.

In 2007, Björn Rasch carried out an experiment in which he stated that during sleep, while he was awake, certain odors could be intensified. The participants had to remember the location of several objects in the network and, in doing so, they were exposed to the rose. Afterwards, the same volunteers lay in the laboratory and, as they reached the deepest sleep state, they slowly got the roses smell. When they woke up, they remembered much better the place where the objects are in the network, if they did not receive olfactory treatment during sleep. Racchus and his team had shown that it is possible to mark the memories and then help to fix our brain during sleep.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a machine was created to improve self-confidence during sleep, but it did not work

This week, a group of researchers at the University of Bern have examined the possibility that, in addition to the memories we have been awake, new teachings can be introduced during the dream. The answer published in the magazine Current Biology, it is positive, but at the moment the results do not allow you to dream of learning in sleep languages.

When we get to a deep sleep state, the brain cells begin to coordinate their activity and synchronize the dancing alternative to active and inactive every 1.5 seconds. The researchers made two words for the volunteers – the first of the invented language and the German translation. When they heard the state of action tofers and key or tions and the elephant, the association was impregnated in his brain. After they woke up, they were able to tie the jaws with something as small as a key and a gun with something as big as an elephant. In addition, they observed that the hippocampus, a brain region that is essential to the memory, was activated when the memory of the assimilated language was recovered during sleep. "These structures seem to be interfering with memory creation, regardless of state of consciousness," says Bern University researcher, and one of the authors of the study, Marc Züst.

Zyst admits that it is still early to know whether it is possible to accelerate the acquisition of new information by first introducing it during sleep. "This is something we will learn, but if the first shock of unconscious learning during sleep is beneficial for later conscious learning, this type of training can be a suitable application for people with learning disabilities or lack of attention, having a focus on clear learning or for very old people, ”he explains.

Bryan Strange, Director of the Clinical Neurology Laboratory of the Center for Biomedical Technology (UPM) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, believes the study is interesting because it accurately defines the state in which the brain needs to get information. However, he believes that it is not possible to talk so much about the introduction of memory as an association and points out that "treatment" does not increase the percentage of success that volunteers would achieve by accident. "They get an improvement of 2% over 50%, guessed right, a little more if the word is repeated in the peak wave window [en estado de actividad]"He says.

Currently, the best use of sleep is its ability to determine what was taught in the usual way during the vigil

It is strange that these results in the future will be a potential application to increase the opportunity to learn during sleep, but point to two obstacles. On the one hand, "two factors must be measured at the same time, you need to register brain electrical activity to find out when you need to start a word or stimulus," and at the same time, to start stimulus based on brain activity during a slow wave, "he says. The second obstacle could be the risk of interfering with the consolidation process of the previous day, which occurs during the dream and eventually loses more than the result.

Zest recognizes this: "Sleep, memory, and the brain as a whole are systems with complex balances that require millions of years of optimization. If we press the sleep brain to get new information, we can hinder the function it is already doing." this work is a fundamental study and your work should not be interpreted as an opportunity to undergo a history test, leaving the recorder with lessons learned under the pillow. "I would recommend learning the lessons well and then going to bed early for the brain to do its job," he concludes.

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