The influence of sleep on auditory learning: a behavioral study

Neuroreport. 2004 Mar 22;15(4):731-4. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200403220-00032.


Evidence continues to support a role for sleep in delayed learning without further practice. Here we demonstrate the beneficial influence of sleep on auditory skill learning. Fifty-six subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, trained and tested on a pitch memory task three times across 24 h. The morning group was trained at 09.00 h, retested 12 h later that same day, and again after 12 h sleep. The evening group was trained at 21.00 h, retested 12 h immediately after sleep, and again 12 h later the next day. At retesting, both groups combined showed significant delayed learning only after sleep, but not across equivalent periods of wake, regardless of which came first. These data add to the growing literature describing sleep-dependent learning throughout sensory and motor domains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pitch Perception / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology
  • Visual Perception / physiology