It is surprising news bound to bring joy to students studying for exams everywhere. The best way to memorise newly-acquired knowledge is to go to sleep, scientists believe. Researchers in Germany found that the brain is better during sleep than during wakefulness at resisting attempts to scramble or corrupt a recent memory. Their study, published in Nature Neuroscience, provides new insights into the hugely complex process by which we store and retrieve deliberately acquired information -- learning, in short.
莘莘学子们听到下面这则出乎意料的新闻后一定是喜上眉梢。据科学家研究显示，要记住刚学到的知识，最好的方法莫过于睡觉。德国研究人员发现，大脑在清 醒状态下，试图抵制刚学到的知识等;而大脑在睡眠状态下，更易接收新信息。该研究发表于《自然神经科学》杂志，这一研究结果提供了我们记忆接收信息，简而 言之，学习这一错综复杂过程新视点。
Fresh memories, stored temporarily in a region of the brain called the hippocampus, do not gel immediately, earlier research showed. It was also known that reactivation of those memories soon after learning plays a crucial role in their transfer to more permanent storage in the brain's 'hard drive', the neocortex. During wakefulness, however, this period of reactivation renders the memories more fragile. Learning a second poem at this juncture, for example, will likely make it harder to commit the first one to deep memory.
此前，有研究表明，大脑将新记忆暂时储存在海马体中，而海马体不能马上“吸收”。而想要长期储存，就需要在接收知识后不断地刺激，通过这一重要过程， 来转化短期记忆为长期记忆，并储存在新皮质。而海马体在处理短期记忆时，不能做到“及时”处理，特别在大脑清醒状态时，海马体对于激活短期记忆会有“迟 钝”的本能反应，在清醒状态中，对于暂时学到的新信息海马体不能马上立刻“吸收”。
Lead author Dr Susanne Diekelmann said: 'Reactivation of memories had completely different effects on the state of wakefulness and sleep. 'Based on brain imaging data, we suggest the reason for this unexpected result is that already during the first few minutes of sleep, the transfer from hippocampus to neocortex has been initiated.' After only 40 minutes of sleep, significant chunks of memory were already 'downloaded' and stored where they 'could no longer be disrupted by new information that is encoded in the hippocampus', she explained.
医生Susanne Diekelmann说：“大脑分别在清醒状态和混乱状态时，处理暂时记忆的效果是大相径庭的。基于我们最新对大脑的分析，当人在处于轻度睡眠状态时，也 就是刚进入睡眠的前2分钟，大脑内的海马体向大脑‘硬盘’大脑皮层的转化活动就会被激活，经过40分钟的睡眠，新吸收的知识就会完全‘下载’到大脑硬盘 中，成为永久记忆。也就是说，睡眠反而是吸收最新知识的最佳方式!”