Sleep protects against learning fear
Traditionally, researchers have recognised the importance of sleep in modulating the fear learning response when the sleep occurs after fear learning. To understand how sleep, prior to a fear learning task, may be important; researchers from Rutgers University looked at the sleep of participants in the lab and at home by measuring brain wave activity. They discovered that a particular stage of sleep called rapid eye movement stage sleep may be protective against fear learning when it occurs prior to fear learning, something which may have implications for protecting against the development of post traumatic stress disorder. Michael Wheeler spoke to Itamar Lerner and Shira Lupkin.