Swiss scientists from the University of Geneva believe that during sleep, the brain prioritizes the storage of memories or life experiences associated with rewards.
The study involved 26 healthy adults. Before going to bed, they were asked to play 2 games. The first (“face game”) was designed to activate the brain’s neural network, which is specialized in processing information about faces. Participants had to identify a specific person based on a series of clues. The second (“maze game”) activated areas of the brain involved in spatial navigation. It was necessary to find a way out of the labyrinth with the help of directional arrows.
It turned out that certain patterns of brain activity observed in the participants when they were awake spontaneously occurred later and during slow-wave (slow-wave) sleep. These patterns were associated with receiving rewards for positive behavior. At the same time, during sleep, activity in the areas of the brain associated with tasks correlated with memory improvement.
Thus, scientists believe that they have discovered a mechanism that is designed to consolidate the prescribed life experience during sleep.