People may be able to learn while they sleep, according to a new study. Israeli researchers played tones followed by certain odours to people who were sleeping. The participants started sniffing when they heard the tones alone - even when there was no odour present - both during sleep and when they were awake.
The results show that people can learn new information while they sleep, and this can unconsciously affect their behaviour when they're awake, said the team at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The study was publishedin the journal Nature Neuroscience.
How the study was done
Researcher Anat Arzi plans to continue investigating brain processing in altered states such as sleep and coma.
"Now that we know that some kind of sleep learning is possible we want to find where the limits lie -- what information can be learned during sleep and what information cannot," Arzi said in an institute news release.
All about sleep
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers an overview of sleep.
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