10-22-2017, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
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| | among the most-neglected training tools: Sleep
my clients often think i'm joking when i tell them sleep is important to training, or learning of any kind -
"training" when defined strictly is to teach a cued behavior, so it doesn't include socialization [happy experiences around other living beings] nor habituation [happy experiences around new stimuli, contexts, etc - anything non-living], nor does it include behavior modification [reduce, redirect, or extinguish unwanted behaviors].
this is why sleep matters -
Ivaylo Iotchev is the study co-author, & a doctoral student at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary.
The study used electroencephalography... to track snoozing dogs' brain activity. Similar to humans, the dogs showed short bursts of activity, called sleep spindles, during non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. Also as in humans, the frequency of these sleep spindles was linked to how well a dog retained new information s/he had learned before the nap.
Sleep spindles are also an interesting area of research because they're related to learning & memory, said Iotchev.
Sleep spindles are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that last about half a second, with a frequency of about 12 to 14 Hertz in humans. These bursts block information from the thalamus, a chunk of gray matter in the forebrain that acts to relay sensory information, from reaching the cortex for more sophisticated processing.
'When sleep spindles happen, the brain is being shielded from outside information,' Iotchev said, 'which is very important for memory consolidation, because when you want to remember something, you don't want it to mix with outside information.'
What does this mean for learning, memory, & retention?
Brief lessons with opportunities to relax in between, or even waiting overnight to continue a specific session, are highly beneficial. Passive learning can be even more potent than active learning, particularly re the learner's ability to find / recall new learning, or long-term retention of what they've learned.
Literally "sleeping on it" is doggone good advice.