Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (So They Can Learn): Julie Hecht on Dogs, Memory, and Sleep

Ph.D. student Julie Hecht (Psychology), who writes the “Dog Spies” blog for ScientificAmerican.com, published an essay on recent scientific findings about the function of dogs’ sleep.

Memory Wins When Dogs Sleep” examined evidence from a Hungarian study suggesting that sleep enhances learning in dogs. The study, published in Scientific Reports, used electroencephalogram (EEG) and other noninvasive tests to measure the process of memory consolidation in dogs.
 
The researchers found that a nap after learning a task helped dogs to later perform the task better, suggesting that newly acquired information is consolidated during sleep, Hecht wrote.
 
“Non-invasive studies of dogs and sleep are new,” Hecht concluded. “We haven’t yet studied whether your dog is dreaming of your face or your glorious smell, but if you care about learning in dogs, this study suggests you give sleep a chance.”
 
A canine researcher, writer, public speaker, and dog enthusiast, Hecht is a student in the GC’s Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology training area.

Submitted on: MAR 20, 2017

Category: General GC News | Student News