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Science!: Vomit Guns, Nose Spray and Plastic

Lauren Admire | 5 Oct 2009 17:00
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Use Nose Spray, Do Better on Tests

Cramming for a test has just gotten a little easier. Scientists have now developed a nose spray that improves memory. 17 strapping young men who were asked to read a short story, spray some chemicals up their nose and then have a long night's rest. One group sniffed placebos, and the other group huffed interleukin-6, an immunoregulatory signal that normally plays a role in inflammation. They now believe that this chemical is responsible for aiding in long-term memory during sleep. The men who had sprayed the real stuff were able to remember more words from the story.

However, the nasal spray won't be able to do its work if you don't get a good night's sleep. Not only do you need to sleep, but you need to experience REM sleep, the time of sleep where your neurons are as active as when you are awake. It's already been postulated that your brain uses the period of sleep to organize its thoughts, cementing things that you have just learned into its memory.

Source: Science Daily

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