Stanford researchers find that the circadian rhythm which guides our daily routine from sleeping to waking might also be integral in learning retention. In an experiment with Siberian hamsters, researchers found that those hamsters with a disabled circadian rhythm did not recognize objects which they have previously encountered.
Until now, no research has linked the circadian clock to learning and memory. The change appears to be tied to a neurotransmitter called GABA. Implications from this study can be used to further research with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s—both diseases react to GABA and GABA antagonists.