An empirical study done by psychologists at the University of San Diego has showed some evidence on how sleep can enhance memory. The study was performed with sixty-seven hybrid male and female mice that had an analogous amount of sexes. The mice were trained to a 12 hour light and dark interval period for about five weeks before the experiment came about. The lights were timed censored and approximated to turn on at 9 am and turn off and 9 pm. The mice had unlimited access to food and water without restriction. During the training period, the mice were isolated in a fear condition chamber, and after a two minute interval, were given foot shocks one minute apart. Additionally five minutes later, the mice were returned to their cages. To test the mice for their prior memory, the psychologists put the mice back in the chamber for a few minutes as an extended post shock period. The psychologists are trying to asses differences in activity or shock reactivity due to the time of day the mice were shocked. This enhancement was specific to the context of memory because there was no difference between the groups for cued memory. The study showed that contextual memory had a deficit in one of the groups. The findings in this study show how quantity and quality of sleep are immensely important on the mind to contain memory. The groups of mice that had more sleep phases, in the experiment, suggests that consolidation is not time dependent.
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