A new study by CRF Family Research Scholar Rebecca Spencer (’10-’11) was recently featured by the Huffington Post’s Healthy Living Section. The study, presented at the 19th annual conference of Cognitive Neuroscience, reveals that sleep may help protect our positive memories.
Spencer, assistant professor of psychology, and her fellow researchers found that for the 70 study participants, those who slept after being shown positive images were more likely to remember the pictures than the participants who were kept awake.
The results of this study may have a part in treatment of patients with PTSD, says Spencer. Insomnia that follows a traumatic event should be treated to help strengthen positive memories.
To read the entire Huffington Post article, please visit: http://huff.to/IMBTbK
Spencer, an active researcher, used her time as part of the Family Research Scholars program to develop several grants to address the question of whether this age-related decline in sleep-dependent memory consolidation also extends to non-motor cognitive tasks, including emotional memory processing.
The Family Research Scholars Program provides selected faculty with the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal to further their research. For more information on the program, please visit: www.umass.edu/family/scholars