Perchance to Dream about Tetris

10/24/11
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Robert Stickgold

Robert Stickgold is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His research seeks to describe the nature of cognition during sleep, and to explain the role of sleep in memory and emotional processing. Stickgold's studies of sleep and memory have provided definitive evidence demonstrating the importance of sleep in learning and memory consolidation.

How well do you remember your dreams? Have you ever had a dream about something you were doing earlier in the day—especially if you were doing it when you nodded off? If you’re a sleep researcher, like Harvard psychiatrist Robert Stickgold, who wants to induce a specific dream in your patients, Tetris is apparently the way to go. He had subjects play the popular video game before going to sleep, and then had them record their dreams when they woke up. What was really interesting though, is what happened when he conducted the same experiment on amnesiacs.
More from this series: Mind after Midnight