Sci­en­tists at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty say learn­ing a new motor skill can be improved by prac­tic­ing even while you sleep.

The study par­tic­i­pants had to play a com­put­er game. At the same time, they used a myo­elec­tric inter­face, with which they moved the cur­sor, acti­vat­ing cer­tain mus­cles of the hands. Each move­ment of the cur­sor in a giv­en direc­tion was accom­pa­nied by a cor­re­spond­ing sound.

At the next stage of the exper­i­ment, the sub­jects played the same game blind­fold­ed, guid­ed by sound prompts.

After­wards, the par­tic­i­pants went for a 90-minute nap. Dur­ing sleep, the researchers played half of the audio sig­nals to the sub­jects, thus reac­ti­vat­ing their motor mem­o­ry.

When the sub­jects woke up, they con­tin­ued the game. And it turned out that the move­ments, the sounds of which they lis­tened to dur­ing sleep, they get more accu­rate and faster — the course moved along a short­er route and at the same time few­er mus­cles were involved.

Thus, the researchers con­clude, by find­ing a way to acti­vate mem­o­ries of train­ing dur­ing sleep, it is pos­si­ble to accel­er­ate the devel­op­ment of new motor skills. In prac­tice, this approach can be used to improve the meth­ods of reha­bil­i­ta­tion of patients after stroke and oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases.

От Yraa

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