Researchers at France’s Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris devised a simple test to explore the brain’s potential while the body is at rest.
According to Wired, the team, led by Delphine Oudiette, taught a motor task to people with sleep behaviour disorders, those who typically move their bodies in tandem with dreams.
Their belief was that the test subjects might repeat the task while sleeping, providing evidence of what sleep researchers call “replay”.
“Replay” is the hypothesis that the brain “replays” the actions of the day while we sleep.
It had traditionally been thought that the brain was a blank canvas for neurological activity in that period, because people tend to better remember facts after a good night’s sleep, rather than when more tired.
However, evidence has increasingly shown that brain activity during sleep is very similar to its activity while learning.