Word encoding during sleep is suggested by correlations between word-evoked up-states and post-sleep semantic priming

Ruch, Simon; Koenig, Thomas; Mathis, Johannes; Roth, C.; Henke, Katharina (2014). Word encoding during sleep is suggested by correlations between word-evoked up-states and post-sleep semantic priming. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, p. 1319. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01319

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To test whether humans can encode words during sleep we played everyday words to men while they were napping and assessed priming from sleep played words following waking. Words were presented during non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Priming was assessed using a semantic and a perceptual priming test. These tests measured differences in the proces sing of words that had been or had not been played during sleep. Synonyms to sleep played words were the targets in the semantic priming test that tapped the meaning of sleep played words. All men responded to sleep played words by producing up states in their electroencephalogram. Up states are NREM sleep specific phases of briefly increased neuronal excitability. The word evoked up states might have promoted word processing during sleep. Yet, the mean performance in the priming tests administered following sleep was at chance level, which suggests that participants as a group failed to show priming following sleep. However, performance in the two priming tests was positively correlated to each other and to the magnitude of the word evoked up states. Hence, the larger a participant’s word evoked up states, the larger his perceptual and semantic priming. Those participants who scored high on all variables must have encoded words during sleep. We conclude that some humans are able to encode words during sleep, but more research is needed to pin down the factors that modulate this ability.

Item Type: Journal Article (Original Article)
Division/Institute: 10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology (discontinued)
UniBE Contributor: Ruch, Simon; König, Thomas; Mathis, Johannes; Roth Wälti, Corinne and Henke, Katharina
Subjects: 100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
ISSN: 1664-1078
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Language: English
Submitter: Thomas König
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2014 12:15
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2016 01:56
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01319
PubMed ID: 25452740
BORIS DOI: 10.7892/boris.60518
URI: http://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60518

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