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Sleep has been demonstrated to improve consolidation of many types of new memories. However, few prior studies have examined how sleep impacts learning of face-name associations. The recognition of a new face along with the associated name is an important human cognitive skill. Here we investigated whether post-presentation sleep impacts recognition memory of new face-name associations in healthy adults. Fourteen participants were tested twice. Each time, they were presented 20 photos of faces with a corresponding name. Twelve hours later, they were shown each face twice, once with the correct and once with an incorrect name, and asked if each face-name combination was correct and to rate their confidence. In one condition the 12-h interval between presentation and recall included an 8-h nighttime sleep opportunity ("Sleep"), while in the other condition they remained awake ("Wake"). There were more correct and highly confident correct responses when the interval between presentation and recall included a sleep opportunity, although improvement between the "Wake" and "Sleep" conditions was not related to duration of sleep or any sleep stage. These data suggest that a nighttime sleep opportunity improves the ability to correctly recognize face-name associations. Further studies investigating the mechanism of this improvement are important, as this finding has implications for individuals with sleep disturbances and/or memory impairments.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.nlm.2015.10.012

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neurobiol Learn Mem

Publication Date

12/2015

Volume

126

Pages

31 - 38

Keywords

Declarative memory, Hippocampal-dependent memory, Recognition memory, Sleep, Adult, Association Learning, Facial Recognition, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Recall, Polysomnography, Recognition, Psychology, Sleep, Young Adult