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Our brains replay our day as we sleep

Jun 22, 2022

BrainGate research offers new clues about sleep's possible role in learning and memory consolidation.

A 35-year-old with cervical spinal cord injury was using the BrainGate intracortical brain-computer interface (BCI) to play a four-button “Simon” game just by thinking about the movement of his own hand. Daniel Rubin, MD, PhD, Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, and Sydney Cash, MD, PhD, from CNTR showed that the same brain activity used to generate the cursor movement was “replayed” many dozens of times overnight while the patient was sleeping. This is the first demonstration in humans of how neuronal ensemble activity during sleep may contribute to the acquisition and memory of new skills learned during the day.

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