Complementary roles of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep in emotional memory consolidation

Cairney, Scott A. and Durrant, Simon J. and Power, Rebecca and Lewis, Penelope A. (2015) Complementary roles of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep in emotional memory consolidation. Cerebral Cortex, 25 (6). pp. 1565-1575. ISSN 1047-3211

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Although rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is regularly implicated in emotional memory consolidation, the role of slow-wave sleep (SWS) in this process is largely uncharacterized. In the present study, we investigated the relative impacts of nocturnal SWS and REM upon the consolidation of emotional memories using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and polysomnography (PSG). Participants encoded emotionally positive, negative, and neutral images (remote memories) before a night of PSG-monitored sleep. Twenty-four hours later, they encoded a second set of images (recent memories) immediately before a recognition test in an MRI scanner. SWS predicted superior memory for remote negative images and a reduction in right hippocampal responses during the recollection of these items. REM, however, predicted an overnight increase in hippocampal–neocortical connectivity associated with negative remote memory. These findings provide physiological support for sequential views of sleep-dependent memory processing, demonstrating that SWS and REM serve distinct but complementary functions in consolidation. Furthermore, these findings extend those ideas to emotional memory by showing that, once selectively reorganized away from the hippocampus during SWS, emotionally aversive representations undergo a comparably targeted process during subsequent REM.

Keywords:hippocampus, Neocortex, Reorganisation, Sleep, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:13321
Deposited On:10 Feb 2014 16:43

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