Robert Stickgold

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Historically, the term 'memory consolidation' refers to a process whereby a memory becomes increasingly resistant to interference from competing or disrupting factors with the continued passage of time. Recent findings regarding the learning of skilled sensory and motor tasks ('procedural learning') have refined this definition, suggesting that(More)
Improvement in motor skill performance is known to continue for at least 24 hr following training, yet the relative contributions of time spent awake and asleep are unknown. Here we provide evidence that a night of sleep results in a 20% increase in motor speed without loss of accuracy, while an equivalent period of time during wake provides no significant(More)
The concept of 'sleeping on a problem' is familiar to most of us. But with myriad stages of sleep, forms of memory and processes of memory encoding and consolidation, sorting out how sleep contributes to memory has been anything but straightforward. Nevertheless, converging evidence, from the molecular to the phenomenological, leaves little doubt that(More)
Sleep researchers in different disciplines disagree about how fully dreaming can be explained in terms of brain physiology. Debate has focused on whether REM sleep dreaming is qualitatively different from nonREM (NREM) sleep and waking. A review of psychophysiological studies shows clear quantitative differences between REM and NREM mentation and between(More)
Growing evidence suggests that sleep plays an important role in the process of procedural learning. Most recently, sleep has been implicated in the continued development of motor-skill learning following initial acquisition. However, the temporal evolution of motor learning before and after sleep, the effects of different training regimens, and the(More)
Performance on a visual discrimination task showed maximal improvement 48–96 hours after initial training, even without intervening practice. When subjects were deprived of sleep for 30 hours after training and then tested after two full nights of recovery sleep, they showed no significant improvement, despite normal levels of alertness. Together with(More)
Performance on a visual discrimination task shows long-term improvement after a single training session. When tested within 24 hr of training, improvement was not observed unless subjects obtained at least 6 hr of posttraining sleep prior to retesting, in which case improvement was proportional to the amount of sleep in excess of 6 hr. For subjects(More)
The learning of perceptual skills has been shown in some cases to depend on the plasticity of the visual cortex and to require post-training nocturnal sleep. We now report that sleep-dependent learning of a texture discrimination task can be accomplished in humans by brief (60- 90 min) naps containing both slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM)(More)
Human performance on visual texture discrimination tasks improves slowly (over days) in the absence of additional training. This 'slow learning' requires nocturnal sleep after training and is limited to the region of visual space in which training occurred. Here, we tested human subjects four times in one day and found that with repeated, within-day(More)
BACKGROUND Sleep spindles are thought to induce synaptic changes and thereby contribute to memory consolidation during sleep. Patients with schizophrenia show dramatic reductions of both spindles and sleep-dependent memory consolidation, which may be causally related. METHODS To examine the relations of sleep spindle activity to sleep-dependent(More)