Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 2nd Ed. Part 9; Section 3; #14

1

The importance of the study mentioned in lines

The importance of the study mentioned in lines 12-14 is that it Some researchers contend that sleep plays no role in the consolidation of declarative memory (i.e., memory involving factual information). These researchers note that people with impairments in rapid eye movement (REM) continue to lead normal lives, and they argue that if sleep were crucial to memory, then these individuals would have apparent memory deficits. Yet the same researchers acknowledge that the cognitive capacities of these individuals have never been systematically examined, nor have they been the subject of studies of tasks on which performance reportedly depends on sleep. Even if such studies were done, they could only clarify our understanding of the role of REM sleep, not sleep in general. The researchers also claim that improvements of memory overnight can be explained by the mere passage of time, rather than attributed to sleep. But recent studies of memory performance after sleep – including one demonstrating that sleep stabilizes declarative memories from future interference caused by mental activity during wakefulness – make this claim unsustainable. Certainly there are memory-consolidation processes that occur across periods of wakefulness, some of which neither depend on nor are enhanced by sleep. But when sleep is compared with wakefulness and performance is better after sleep, then some benefit of sleep for memory must be acknowledged. reveals the mechanism by which declarative memory is stabilized during sleep, identifies a specific function that sleep plays in the memory-consolidation process, demonstrates that some kinds of mental activity can interfere with memory consolidationdemonstrates that some kinds of mental activity can interfere with memory consolidation, suggests that sleep and wakefulness are both important to memory consolidation, explains how the passage of time contributes to memory consolidation

2 Explanations

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Jacob Elder

I was experiencing some difficulty deciding between answers (A) and (B). I ended up choosing A, because I thought that the following line described the mechanism which declarative memory is stabilized during sleep, "including one demonstrating that sleep stabilizes declarative memories from future interference caused by mental activity during wakefulness." Could you expand upon how this isn't the answer, since it describes the process by which declarative memories are stabilized through sleep?

Jan 28, 2016 • Comment

Adam

Hi Jacob,

Happy to help :)

This sentence doesn't actually show the mechanism by which declarative memory is stabilized during sleep. The sentence just tells us that "sleep stabilizes declarative memories from future interference caused by mental activity during wakefulness." It doesn't actually tell us HOW this happens.

Jan 28, 2016 • Reply

1

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Dec 2, 2012 • Comment

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