After Being Challenged by a Video Game Problem, Sleep Increases the Chance to Solve ItReport as inadecuate

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In the past years many studies have demonstrated the role of sleep on memory consolidation. It is known that sleeping after learning a declarative or non-declarative task, is better than remaining awake. Furthermore, there are reports of a possible role for dreams in consolidation of declarative memories. Other studies have reported the effect of naps on memory consolidation. With similar protocols, another set of studies indicated that sleep has a role in creativity and problem-solving. Here we hypothesised that sleep can increase the likelihood of solving problems. After struggling to solve a video game problem, subjects who took a nap n = 14 were almost twice as likely to solve it when compared to the wake control group n = 15. It is interesting to note that, in the nap group 9 out 14 subjects engaged in slow-wave sleep SWS and all solved the problem. Surprisingly, we did not find a significant involvement of Rapid Eye Movement REM sleep in this task. Slow-wave sleep is believed to be crucial for the transfer of memory-related information to the neocortex and implement intentions. Sleep can benefit problem-solving through the generalisation of newly encoded information and abstraction of the gist. In conclusion, our results indicate that sleep, even a nap, can potentiate the solution of problems that involve logical reasoning. Thus, sleep-s function seems to go beyond memory consolidation to include managing of everyday-life events.

Author: Felipe Beijamini , Sofia Isabel Ribeiro Pereira, Felipe Augusto Cini, Fernando Mazzilli Louzada



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