It has been suggested that sleep selectively enhances memories with future relevance. Given that sleep’s benefits can vary by item within a learning context, the present study investigated whether the amount of sleep-dependent consolidation may vary across items based on the value of the to-be-learned material. For this purpose, we used a value-based learning paradigm in which participants studied words paired with point values. There were two groups; participants either studied the words in the evening and were tested after a 12 hr interval containing a full night of sleep, or studied the words in the morning and were tested after 12 hr of continuous daytime wake. Free recall (F(1,36) = 19.35, p<.001) and recognition accuracy (F(1,36) = 7.59, p = .01) for words were better following sleep relative to wake. However there was no difference in the linear increase in the probability of delayed recall with increasing word value for sleep and wake groups (p = .74). Thus, while encoding may vary with the value of the to-be-learned item, sleep-dependent consolidation does not.
Via Ashish Umre