How Dreaming Helps the Brain Consolidate Memories

The past century of “sleep and memory” research has established that sleep facilitates the retention of memories in both humans and animals. However, the exact brain mechanisms that help mammals consolidate memories while they sleep was unclear to neuroscientists until recently.

Since the 1950s, neuroscientists have suspected that dreaming facilitates memory consolidation during the rapid-eye-movement (REM) stage of sleep. In 1957, William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman of the University of Chicago published a landmark study (Dement & Kleitman, 1957) of human adults showing (for the first time) that dreaming occurs during REM sleep.

Full article at Psychology Today

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