Sleep-dependent memory consolidation

Nature 437, 1272-1278 (27 October 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature04286; Published online 26 October 2005

Sleep-dependent memory consolidation

Robert Stickgold1

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 offline memory reprocessing during sleep is an important component of how our memories are formed and ultimately shaped.

1. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Centre for Sleep and Cognition, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, 330 Brookline Avenue/FD-861, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

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