Scientists know that sleep plays an important part in memory but new research from New York University suggests that even a short break can help people remember things. The researchers showed the participants in the study images of faces, followed by a series of random objects. The participants did not know they would be tested on their memory of the objects later. The levels of activity in a part of the brain called the hippocampus - which plays an important part in memory - were measured while the participants were being shown the images and during a subsequent rest period. The hippocampus was found to be equally active while people were resting as it was when they were being shown the images and the more active people's hippocampi were when they were resting the better they did during a subsequent test of recall.