Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by altered consciousness.Sleep is a state of being characterized by a lack of consciousness.For many of us, sleep is the sweet balm that soothes and restores us after a long day of work and play.So, are we capable to perceiving sensory stimuli while we are in sleep, or we totally oblivious to the world around us? This is known that humans can strengthen previously acquired memories during sleep, but it is unknown that if human can actually take in new information.
Researchers of the University of Israel decided to test the assimilation and acquisition of new non-verbal information during sleep. This is known that we respond to unpleasant smells by producing shorter sniffs, and to pleasant smells by longer, deeper sniffs. The researcher used that information to create a unique test. While participants were in sleep, they paired odors with musical tones,like an odor-tone pairing was created with the tone being separated by the odor by at least 1 second. To ensure that these were being detected by the participants, their sniffing behavior was studied, and it was ensured that their sniffs were shorter when unpleasant odors were being presented. They also ensured that participants didn't wake up in response to these odors; participants who did wake up within 30 minutes of the experiment are being excluded from the test.
After waking up, the same participants were presented to the tones alone, and it's found that the tones that were paired with unpleasant odors induced a shorter sniffing response in the participants. However, they were unaware of the experiments that had been conducted when they were sleeping.It shows that their brains can process at least two things 1) odor processing, 2) association of tones with odors while sleep. It also shows shows that our senses are definitely at work while we're sleeping.
These participants only learned a simple non-verbal response. More studies will have to be conducted to determine the extent to which we can learn during sleeping. Head researcher Anat Ariz stated that-
There will be clear limits on what we can learn in sleep, but I speculate that they will be beyond what we have demonstrated.
Though it is unlikely that we can learn all our Algebra by listening to recordings while we're sleeping.The research could have implications in treating addictive disorders, as per example, by using conditioning which pairs addictive drugs with a negative connotation. As Arzi says, perhaps the best way to cure such disorders could be learning at a level of non-awareness
So have you ever tested this by your own or willing to test?Share your answer with us through your comment.You can stay connected with us subscribing our rss feed,you can also follow our various social networking fan pages as well.