How sleep helps the brain learn motor tasks

Sleep Waves

Certain "slow wave" sleep brainwave oscillations changed in a particular region of the brain once subjects were trained in a motor task.  Credit: Photos by Mike Cohea/Brown University

Sleep helps the brain consolidate what we've learned, but scientists have struggled to determine what goes on in the brain to make that happen for different kinds of learned tasks. In a new study, researchers pinpoint the brainwave frequencies and brain region associated with sleep-enhanced learning of a sequential finger tapping task akin to typing, or playing piano.