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双语阅读练习:科学家证明玫瑰花香味能提高记忆力

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2013年04月28日 【我要咨询】 】 来源:清华在线

  New York, March 10. (PTI): Rose odour is beneficial(有益的,有帮助的) for the memory of a person when taken at the appropriate time, a study said.

  Taking a whiff(一阵香气) of rose scent while learning a task and then being exposed to the same smell during sleep helps memories to set, as per the finding of the study published in the latest Nature magazine.

  Jan Born of the University of Lnbeck along with his colleagues has conducted the study on people, learning the locations of various picture cards laid in a square.

  They found that those exposed to odour remembered 97 per cent of the locations while others retain only 87 per cent figures.

  The team's findings support theories about how memories are solidified(固化的,固体化的) in the brain during sleep, the Nature magazine said.

  Researchers think a part of the brain, hippocampus(海马状突起) is like the scratch-pad of memory where we put new things that have been experienced or learned until they can be filed for long-term storage.

  During sleep, these memories are "reactivated" and transferred to the cortex.

  Born and his team speculated that an odour could thus help trigger the "reactivation" process during sleep, making permanent memory storage more efficient.

  "By experimentally inducing it, we can show that reactivation enhances(提高,加强) memory," Born said.

  However, on being tested the second consecutive day, odour had no effect on memories of the respective persons though Born did not rule out the possibility of memory enhancement.

  But simply sleeping in a rose-scented room won't necessarily do the trick, because the timing of odour exposure(暴露,揭发) is crucial, the study said.

  The same mechanisms(机械,机构) are involved in securing memory during sleep and awakeniong hours, Born said adding the difference is that the hippocampus is more sensitive when its owner is sleeping.

  The researchers said smelling odour is not a panacea for developing skills needed to play the piano or to ride a bike as these activity-related memories don't rely on the hippocampus.

  Born's group published a study in Nature magazine last year that showed an increase in retaining power when people's brains were stimulated with a mild electric current.

  "Odour presentation is a much 'softer' method," he said.

  相关链接:(并非原文翻译)

  德国科学家最近进行的一项研究结果证明,玫瑰香味可以让人在睡眠中巩固白天获得的新记忆。

  根据德国吕贝克大学的科研人员博恩和其同事发表在《科学》期刊中的论文,研究显示,记忆的确是在睡眠中巩固的,而且气味和其他刺激物可以加强大脑的学习机制。

  在进行活动时,部分自愿者闻了玫瑰花香,过后睡在一个核磁共振管里。研究人员通过功能性磁振造影“观察”他们的脑部活动。随着自愿者进入不同阶段的睡眠,博恩的科研小组往管里吹送玫瑰香。第二天,研究人员再次测试自愿者之前所学的,结果显示,经过气味刺激的自愿者能够记得97.2%他们在睡前配对的卡片;没有闻玫瑰香的参与者则只记得86%。

  研究人员还发现,睡眠的阶段对加强学习的程度也很重要。核磁共振结果显示,在深睡的慢波睡眠状态中吹送气味,实验对象大脑中负责学习新事物的海马神经元就会启动。不过,如果是在较浅睡发梦的眼速动期闻到气味,气味刺激就没有作用。

  科学家们解释称,这是因为气味和记忆相互关联,人们在闻到某种气味时会勾起某个回忆,如嗅到苹果香就想起祖母做的苹果派。科研报告说,在卡片配对游戏中,气味重新启动了实验对象对卡片位置的记忆,已处休息状态的大脑进而巩固这份记忆。

  在此项研究中,科学家们共招募了74名志愿者,让他们玩一个电脑记忆游戏,记住两张相同卡片在屏幕上的各自位置,然后再让他们戴上面具,吸入一股玫瑰花香。半个小时后,研究人员将志愿者送入房间睡觉,并不断向房间中散播玫瑰香气,同时观察他们睡眠时的大脑活动状况。

  在神经学上,人的睡眠分为几个阶段,包括深度睡眠和浅度睡眠。 人通常在入睡20分钟后进入深度睡眠,这一阶段一般可以持续超过一小时,并可能重复出现。在深度睡眠阶段,人处理信息的效率最高。

  本次研究结果显示,只有在深度睡眠阶段闻到玫瑰香气,志愿者的记忆力才能得到显著提高。这是因为,在这一阶段,大脑皮层负责思考和计划的部分向大脑深处主管记忆的海马状突起传递信息。据吕贝克大学神经学家博恩表示: “通过对志愿者大脑活动的观察,我们可以推测,玫瑰香气刺激了他们在深度睡眠时的大脑皮层活动,增强它(向海马状突起)发出信号的能力,从而强化人的记忆力”。

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