This should come as welcome advice to anyone attempting an all-night study session –go to bed instead. New research by the University of Liege in Belgium suggests a good night’s sleep after solid study enhances recall. Researchers asked volunteers to learn the layout of a virtual town adapted from a computer game. Brain scans of these volunteers during sleep afterwards showed higher activity in the hippocampus – one of the brains’s learning centers – than in a control group who hadn’t studied. The researchers then tested the learners’ knowledge after the sleep sessions and found that there was a direct link between performance and the levers of brain activity during sleep. “Our results provide critical evidence that hippocampus activity during sleep correlates with improvement in memory performance,” said researchers Philippe Peigneux.

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