People can continue to learn new information when they are sleeping.
This is the main finding of an investigation in the journal Nature Neuroscience and carried out by the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
According to the study, if certain odours are presented after tones during sleep, individuals will start sniffing when they hear the tones on their own.
This means individuals are able to unconsciously modify their waking behaviour, while the learned response was found to be more pronounced during rapid eye movement (REM).
According to the study, during REM sleep "we may be more open to influence from the stimuli in our surroundings".
Anat Arzi, who was involved in this investigation alongside Proffesor Noam Sobel, said she is keen to find out what the limits of sleep learning are.
She added it will be good to see what types of information can be learned and what cannot when a person is sleeping.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes