Associations Between Sleep And Memory Psychology Essay

Declarative memories are also partially accessed during sleep. The latent part of a dream has parts of recent events and/or knowledge. Declarative memories transform due to processing during sleep. There are many possible connections between EEG theta activity during sleep and memory consolidation. It is now clear that this essay will emphasize the relationship among sleep, emotional regulation, and psychiatric mood disorders. Explicit memory is one that a person is consciously aware of. In a recent study, psychologists compared the effects of sleep on explicit and implicit memory recollection on a task. Participants were tested on two lists of words that were given before sleep or in the day. Familiarity is not affected by sleep whereas explicit memory is immensely affected. Slow wave sleep has a direct connection with the improvement of explicit recollection.

Introduction:

Memory and sleep are evidently associated with each other. People all over the world sleep minimally at night, wake up, and go through their tiresome day of working Students, especially, stay up at night thinking that the more they study, the more they’ll remember. This may be true, but sleep is a fundamental key to success to memory gain. Students also may cram information right before having to remember it and believe that the sooner you know it, the sooner you’ll remember it. This is not true at all. For memories to be gained, sufficient sleep is necessary before and after knowledge is gained.

Sleep and Memory
Sleep and Memory Reactivation and Consolidation

Declarative memories are memories that are consciously recalled that may take the form of episodes or facts. It is based on how humans remember events or facts. People with the condition of “circumscribed amnesia” have difficulty remembering declarative memories because they have damaged neocortical regions, and declarative memory is utterly dependent on neocortical regions.

Various features of the memory are displayed in different neocortical regions of the brain. For the memory to be recalled, the representation of the memory must appear in the regions, thus requiring cross-cortical storage. The fragments and the storage both make up the memory itself.

Recalling and remembering the memory also depends on functions that are supported in the prefrontal cortex. Memory representations in the cerebral cortex form slowly and temporary hippocampal connections form, but cross-cortical storage must occur of recollection. Cross-cortical consolidation depends on how much the memory has been accessed. Declarative memories change due to processing. This endorses cross-cortical consolidation and allows memories to be accessible without the hippocampus.

Declarative memories are also partially accessed during sleep. The latent part of a dream has parts of recent events and/or knowledge. Declarative memories transform due to processing during sleep. The consolidation does not have a set time limit and can occur when memory is modified. Memory access is directly associated with consolidation. A hypothesis proposed by Winson, states that there are connections between scattered neocortical networks and also hippocampal-neocortical connections. Another evolutionary perspective by Jonathon Winson proposes that a dream is an adaptation to relate recent experiences to behavior. This is advantageous because cognition during sleep can cause better memory and extended outlooks on problems. Processing during sleep is a way to organize memories for ready-to-use access.

There are many possible connections between EEG theta activity during sleep and memory consolidation. EEG scans record neocortical and hippocampal regions and effectively shows the connections between sleep and hippocampal activity. Hippocampal activity was at its peak during slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Memory fragments retrieved during sleep is transmitted through dreams. New memory connections are formed then and memory storage is selectively improved. It is now evident that sleep is associated with memory.

Sleep deprivation and emotional memory development. There is a relationship between sleep and the ability to adjust to emotions. Studies have successfully shown the connection between emotional behavior and human cognition. Sleep has also been associated with certain cognitive processes, linked to certain parts of the brain. There is a major connection between REM sleep and anatomy associated with emotions. (In almost all psychiatric mood disorders, an association with a sleep disorder has been made.) It is now clear that this essay will emphasize the relationship among sleep, emotional regulation, and psychiatric mood disorders.

Emotional memories. The effect of sleep on memory has been categorized into two stages. Pre-learning, the preliminary deciphering of new information, and post-learning, the long-term potentiating of memory, are the two categories.

Emotion can affect the pre-learning stage of memory formation. If the information is emotionally stimulating, the subject will be more likely to recall the information. Even so, emotions do not only pertain to one facet. Two subcategories of emotion exist: arousal, from calm to excitement, and valence, from neutral and positive to negative.

The amygdala, a structure in the limbic system known to control emotions, has been related to emotional arousal. Studies have shown that activity in this region changes hippocampal activity, directly affecting memory. It is clear that emotions are related to memory. Furthermore, there subsists significant evidence to state that sleep deprivation successfully harms emotional memory development.

Effects of sleep deprivation on emotional memory development. In studies with rodents, sleep deprivation has been proven to impair decoding of tasks related to memory. These studies have used learning sets associated with desires or avoidances. When dealing with such subjects, the studies dealt with emotions. REM sleep loss causes harm to the encoding of avoidance learning.

REM sleep deprivation also causes impairment to long-term consolidation of memories. Sleep preceding learning is necessary to preserve memories in the long-term. Whereas more stress has been laid on post-learning sleep, pre-learning sleep is actually a very significant factor played into the forming of episodic memories, or memories about past events.

In a recent study in 2009, Matthew P. Walker studied the importance of pre-learning sleep through a series of experiments. Sleep-deprived subjects and subjects, who were allowed slept normally prior to learning, were tested. They were then tested after two nights of consecutive subsequent sleep. Subjects who were sleep-deprived showed to have 40% deficiency in memory encoding than the control group (of subjects who were allowed to sleep). When this data was sorted into the emotionally valence categories, the subjects who were sleep deprived had shown extreme memory loss in neutral and positive emotional memories, compared to the control group. This shows that sleep deprivation changes the ability to convert experiences to memory, thus showing the defected hippocampus as a result of sleep loss.

Explicit memory recollection. Recognition memory is being familiar with a certain exposed stimulus. It is mainly recognizing a prior event or information that may be familiar to someone. Sleep is already shown as to improve the consolidation of memories. There are two types of memories that are significant to understand. Implicit memories are ones that a person is not aware that exist but are exhibited in his behavior. Explicit memory is one that a person is consciously aware of. In a recent study, psychologists compared the effects of sleep on explicit and implicit memory recollection on a task. Participants were tested on two lists of words that were given before sleep or in the day. Familiarity is not affected by sleep whereas explicit memory is immensely affected. Slow wave sleep has a direct connection with the improvement of explicit recollection.

Working memory (short term memory). Working memory, a component of short term memory, is affected by sleep also. When tested in a group of subjects, they made more errors on a test measuring working memory recollection after sleep loss. Working memory span decreased by a large effect. Total sleep deprivation varied from person to person, but verbal working memory scores globally decreased overall.