Memory consolidation during sleep: A form of brain restitution

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):81-82 (2005)
Abstract
Does sleep restore brain function or does it consolidate memory? I argue that memory consolidation during sleep is an offshoot of restitution. Continual learning causes local synapse-specific neural fatigue, which then masks expression of that learning, especially on time-limited tests of procedural skills. Sleep serves to restore the fatigued synapses, revealing the consolidation-based enhancement observed as a “latent” overnight improvement in learning.
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