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The sleeping child outplays the adult's capacity to convert implicit into explicit knowledge

Nature Neuroscience volume 16, pages 391393 (2013) | Download Citation

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Abstract

When sleep followed implicit training on a motor sequence, children showed greater gains in explicit sequence knowledge after sleep than adults. This greater explicit knowledge in children was linked to their higher sleep slow-wave activity and to stronger hippocampal activation at explicit knowledge retrieval. Our data indicate the superiority of children in extracting invariant features from complex environments, possibly as a result of enhanced reprocessing of hippocampal memory representations during slow-wave sleep.

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  • 03 March 2013

    In the version of this article initially published online, author names Björn Rasch and Christian Büchel were misspelled Bjöern Rasch and Christian Büechel. The error has been corrected for the print, PDF and HTML versions of this article.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to S. Diekelmann, S. Groch, T. Ole Bergmann, K. Mueller, K. Wendt, T. Kraemer, H. Neumeyer, M. Menz, A. Marschner, G. Feld and D. McMakin for technical support and helpful discussions. This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 654 'Plasticity and Sleep').

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

    • Ines Wilhelm
    • , Kathrin I Imhof
    •  & Jan Born
  2. Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zuerich, Zuerich, Switzerland.

    • Ines Wilhelm
  3. NeuroImage Nord, Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

    • Michael Rose
    •  & Christian Büchel
  4. Division of Biopsychology, University of Zuerich, Zuerich, Switzerland.

    • Björn Rasch
  5. Department of Neuroendocrinology, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany.

    • Jan Born

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Contributions

I.W. and K.I.I. conducted the experiments. I.W., B.R., M.R., J.B. and C.B. designed the experiments and analyzed the data. I.W., J.B. and C.B. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Ines Wilhelm or Jan Born.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3343