Sleep’s Role in Schema Learning and Creative Insights

Durrant, Simon J. and Johnson, Jennifer M. (2021) Sleep’s Role in Schema Learning and Creative Insights. Current Sleep Medicine Reports . ISSN 2198-6401

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Purpose of Review A recent resurgence of interest in schema theory has influenced research on sleep-dependent memory consolidation and led to a new understanding of how schemata might be activated during sleep and play a role in the reorganisation of memories. This review aims to synthesise recent findings into a coherent narrative and draw overall conclusions.
Recent Findings Rapid consolidation of schematic memories has been shown to benefit from an interval containing sleep. These memories have shown reduced reliance on the hippocampus following consolidation in both humans and rodents. Using a variety of methodologies, notably including the DRM paradigm, it has been shown that activation of a schema can increase the rate of false memory as a result of activation of semantic associates during slow wave sleep (SWS). Memories making use of a schema have shown increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which may reflect both the schematic activation itself and a cognitive control component selecting an appropriate schema to use. SWS seems to be involved in assimilation of new memories within existing semantic frameworks and in making memories more explicit, while REM sleep may be more associated with creating entirely novel associations while keeping memories implicit.
Summary Sleep plays an important role in schematic memory consolidation, with more rapid consolidation, reduced hippocampal involvement and increased prefrontal involvement as the key characteristics. Both SWS and REM sleep may have a role to play.

Keywords:memory, schema, sleep, hippocampus, mPFC, creative thinking
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B140 Neuroscience
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:43759
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 10:44

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