This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the hypothesis presented in this book: that sleep is favorable for brain plasticity. It then presents a short historical overview of the idea of the role of sleep in learning and memory. It argues that the role of sleep in memory trace processing remains to be confirmed. The characterization of task-dependent regionally specific brain activities during post-training sleep should be pursued, at different levels of cerebral organization. They should be shown to be related to long-lasting behavioral adaptation.
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