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Trends Cogn Sci. 2018 Jun;22(6):491-503. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.009.

How Memory Replay in Sleep Boosts Creative Problem-Solving.

Author information

1
CUBRIC, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. Electronic address: LewisP8@Cardiff.ac.uk.
2
Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
3
Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, UCLA, LA, USA.

Abstract

Creative thought relies on the reorganisation of existing knowledge. Sleep is known to be important for creative thinking, but there is a debate about which sleep stage is most relevant, and why. We address this issue by proposing that rapid eye movement sleep, or 'REM', and non-REM sleep facilitate creativity in different ways. Memory replay mechanisms in non-REM can abstract rules from corpuses of learned information, while replay in REM may promote novel associations. We propose that the iterative interleaving of REM and non-REM across a night boosts the formation of complex knowledge frameworks, and allows these frameworks to be restructured, thus facilitating creative thought. We outline a hypothetical computational model which will allow explicit testing of these hypotheses.

KEYWORDS:

consolidation; creativity; memory; reactivation; replay; sleep

PMID:
29776467
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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