Sleep increases explicit solutions and reduces intuitive judgments of semantic coherence

Learn Mem. 2017 Nov 15;24(12):641-645. doi: 10.1101/lm.044511.116. Print 2017 Dec.


Sleep fosters the generation of explicit knowledge. Whether sleep also benefits implicit intuitive decisions about underlying patterns is unclear. We examined sleep's role in explicit and intuitive semantic coherence judgments. Participants encoded sets of three words and after a sleep or wake period were required to judge the potential convergence of these words on a common fourth associate. Compared with wakefulness, sleep increased the number of explicitly named common associates and decreased the number of intuitive judgments. This suggests that sleep enhances the extraction of explicit knowledge at the expense of the ability to make intuitive decisions about semantic coherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Electrooculography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intuition*
  • Judgment / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Polysomnography
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Semantics*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology
  • Young Adult