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You really can learn while you sleep

Brain stays busy during lights-out

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 17

You may think of sleep as a time of repose. But scientists discovered this year that, under the right circumstances, your slumbering brain can sign on for the night shift.

While visiting the Land of Nod, people might improve their musical abilities (SN: 7/28/12, p. 10), learn to associate a smell with a sound (SN: 10/6/12, p. 9) or solidify negative feelings (SN: 2/25/12, p. 8). These results, and others like them, are pushing the boundaries of what scientists think the sleeping brain accomplishes.

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