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Sleep and Memory: The importance of peripheral details

May 2nd, 2014 3 comments

Sleep has been to known to be a critical element for the functioning of humans. Today, in fact, I awoke early to go to the gym after getting a less than satisfying night’s sleep when I was met with the classic dilemma: get out of bed and be a productive person or let the comforts of my bed envelop me and fall back asleep? I chose the former, reluctantly. On days following a poor night of sleep I will pass by nearly everyone (friends, strangers, familiar faces) without really noticing their presence––the only thoughts to which my mind attaches are the idea of taking a nap or waiting for nightfall to come. Generally speaking, sleep patterns can have a profound effect on our physical, emotional, and cognitive capacities. But can sleep actually affect performance when we truly need to focus, such as at a crime scene? The authors of the following study sought to investigate how sleep can affect memory recall. But before I delve into the study, it is important to mention past research on the glaring imperfections of memory recall, as well as the relationship between sleep and memory.

 


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