A sleep spindle may be defined as a section of waxing and waning 8 to 16 Hz oscillation in the EEG.
These episodic patterns have been best studied in relation to sleep neurophysiology and include sleep spindles, the so-called 'up-down' state of slow sleep rhythms and K-complexes.
Now researchers have found that sleep spindles
also play a role in strengthening new memories when newly learned information is played back to a person during sleep.
Cellular-synaptic generation of sleep spindles
, spike-and-wave discharges, and evoked thalamo-cortical responses in the neocortex of the rat.
The mother does this in the following way: recall that N2 light sleep is characterized by sleep spindles
and k-complexes on the electroencephalogram.
Stage Description Duration W Wakefulness ~16 hours N1 Somnolence; "drowsy," easily awakened 1-5% N2 Asleep -50% N3 Slow Wave Sleep ~7% (SWS) Transition to deep sleep N4 Slow Wave Sleep ~20-25% (SWS) Deep sleep REM1-4 Rapid Eye Movement ~20-25% Stage EEG Brainwave pattern Events and abnormalities W Alpha waves Daytime consciousness N1 Theta waves Hypnogogic twitches, hallucinations N2 Slower waves, sleep spindles
, K-complexes Unconsciousness N3 <50% delta waves Melatonin peak, (SWS) night terrors, parasomnias N4 >50% delta waves Minimum core temperature, (SWS) rebounds after deprivation REM1-4 Rapid low-voltage EEG Dreaming, low muscle tone, rebounds after deprivation
In motor procedural tasks, an increase in the total number of stage II sleep spindles
, especially those in the last quarter of the night, may be seen for the groups that do well on posttraining retesting (Neuron 2002;35:205-11).
While you sleep, your brain stores new information into long-term memory via sleep spindles
(these are one- to two-second bursts of brain activity) associated with dreaming.
This change consists of an increase in sleep spindles
, resulting in faster sleep onset times and improved sleep maintenance.
Wixted determined that a sleep feature known as sleep spindles
- bursts of brain activity that last for a second or less during a specific stage of sleep - are important for emotional memory.
These waves are called sleep spindles
, and scientists have suspected their involvement in cataloging and storing memories as we sleep.
Earlier research found a correlation between sleep spindles
- bursts of brain activity that last for a second or less during a specific stage of sleep - and consolidation of memories that depend on the hippocampus.
The study -- "Pharmacologically Increasing Sleep Spindles
Enhances Recognition for Negative and High-arousal Memories" -- appears in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
The rocking bed also had a lasting effect on brain activity, increasing slow oscillations and bursts of activity known as sleep spindles
We found that by measuring brain waves during sleep, we could learn a lot about how well a person's brain can block the negative effects of sounds; the more sleep spindles
your brain produces, the more likely you'll stay asleep, even when confronted with noise," said Jeffrey Ellenbogen of Harvard Medical School.