Offbeat brain rhythms during sleep make older adults forget

December 14, 2017

Like swinging a tennis racket during a ball toss to serve an ace, slow and speedy brainwaves during deep sleep must sync up at exactly the right moment to hit the save button on new memories, according to new UC Berkeley research.

While these brain rhythms, occurring hundreds of times a night, move in perfect lockstep in young adults, findings published today in the journal Neuron show that, in old age, slow waves during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep fail to make timely contact with speedy electrical bursts known as “spindles.”

UC Berkeley NewsCenter