Task Solutions-Wakeful Resting For Consolidating Memories PSY3419

COGNITION AND
EMOTION
IS WAKEFUL RESTING IMPORTANT FOR
CONSOLIDATING MEMORIES?
• Wakeful rest is a short duration during which the body …

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COGNITION AND
EMOTION
IS WAKEFUL RESTING IMPORTANT FOR
CONSOLIDATING MEMORIES?
• Wakeful rest is a short duration during which the body receives
minimal stimulation.
• Wakeful resting entails stopping all activities for a short period of time
•  It is usually intended to increase mental and physical well-being. 
• Even though sleep is certainly a restful state, most rest does not involve
the same level of disengagement as sleeping. 
• Memory consolidation: converting temporary, labile memories
into more stable and long-term ones.  
• The time between learning and retrieval has a resounding effect
on the memory performance.
• During formation of memories, both contents are encoded
(encoding) and consolidated in long-term storage (storing).
• The contents are evaluated by recalling the contents .
• According to research, a short time of rest following learning
aids memory retentiveness.
• The process is weakened by distraction.
WAKEFUL REST IMPACT ACROSS THE YOUNG
AND OLD
• According to research, wakeful rest following learning aids memory retention.
• It is weakened by distraction.
• In Martini et al. (2019), young and older adults were examined to determine whether rest
after learning improves memory retention.
• In general, younger adults outperformed their elders.
• A wakeful relaxation phase after learning is more beneficial for older adults, as they are more
prone to distractions .
• With increasing age, taking small breaks right after taking in new information helps one
remember it better, whereas distraction after having learned tends to undermine memory
retention.
ANIMAL AND HUMAN STUDIES COMPARED
• Over time, memories consolidate automatically through a process called
consolidation. 
• The consolidation of memory is enhanced by awake rest. 
• In consolidation, neural activity related to recent encoding is spontaneously
reactivated (Dewar et al., 2014 ).
• In studies done on rodents and humans, wakeful sleep may provide the most
optimal conditions for consolidating newly acquired memories, possibly because
novel interfering information is minimally encoded when the brain is awake.
• Sleep and wakeful rest and other states of relative immobility favor reactivation.
• Performance on subsequent memory is directly related to reactivation.
INTENTIONAL REHEARSAL 
• A process called elaborate rehearsal, which integrates newly formed memory traces into an existent long-term
storage framework.
• Intentional rehearsal is also said to enhance memory and recall .
• In wakeful rest, the brain is able to intentionally rehearse memories acquired before the wakeful rest, which results
in better memory during wakeful rest delays.
• Participants who overtly or covertly rehearse material improve their ability to recall newly acquired material and
this effect has been noted when retrieving material (Dewar et al., 2014) .
• Even unrecallable stimuli could gain from a wakeful rest interval after learning, thereby refuting the notion that
intentionally replaying a stimulus is required in order to produce a long-lasting memory benefit.  
• Researchers presented participants with two stories, one was
accompanied by rest for ten minutes, and the other by a ten
minute spot-the-difference game .
• Wakeful resting enhanced memory after 15 to 30 minutes as
well as after seven days in Experiment 1.
•  As was demonstrated in experimental 2, this striking
improvement in memory took place even if no retrievals had
been imposed in between.
• The amount of time people spend engaging in cognitive
activity shortly after new learning affects how well they can
remember prose after 7 days .
CONCLUSION
• Wakeful resting plays a role in consolidating memories.
• It allows for time for memory consolidation.
• Distraction after learning interferes with the process of
consolidation.
• Intentional rehearsal can only be partly credited for the
memory consolidation of memories during wakeful rest.
REFERENCES
• Dewar , M., Alber , J., Butler, C., Cowan, N., & Della Sala, S. (2012). Brief wakeful resting boosts
new memories over the long term.  Psychological Science , 23 (9), 955–960.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797612441220
• Dewar, M., Alber , J., Cowan, N., & Della Sala, S. (2014). Boosting long-term memory via wakeful
rest: intentional rehearsal is not necessary, consolidation is sufficient.  PloS One , 9(10), e109542.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109542
• Martini, M., Zamarian , L., Sachse , P., Martini, C., & Delazer , M. (2019). Wakeful resting and
memory retention: a study with healthy older and younger adults.  Cognitive Processing , 20 (1),
125–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-018-0891-4

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