Recent research gives new insight into sleep’s memory processing capabilities, reports Medical News Today.

Some models of sleep are based purely on the activity of single neurons, others are more abstract and less detailed; both methods have their benefits and pitfalls. Instead, the German team used a neural mass model. In a neural mass model, the activity of a small group of neurons is scaled up to estimate the behavior of larger groups of neurons.

As the authors explain: “neural mass models represent a compromise between a very detailed and an abstract modeling approach.”