Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Targeted memory reactivation in REM but not SWS selectively reduces arousal responses

Hutchinson, Isabel C., Pezzoli, Stefania, Tsimpanouli, Maria-Efstratia, Abdellahi, Mahmoud E. A., Pobric, Gorana, Hulleman, Johann and Lewis, Penelope A. ORCID: 2021. Targeted memory reactivation in REM but not SWS selectively reduces arousal responses. Communications Biology 4 , 404. 10.1038/s42003-021-01854-3

[thumbnail of s42003-021-02196-w.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (338kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Lewis. Targeted memory reactivation Support Info.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (128kB)


A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep can help to decouple the memory of emotional experiences from their associated affective charge. This process is thought to rely on the spontaneous reactivation of emotional memories during sleep, though it is still unclear which sleep stage is optimal for such reactivation. We examined this question by explicitly manipulating memory reactivation in both rapid-eye movement sleep (REM) and slow-wave sleep (SWS) using targeted memory reactivation (TMR) and testing the impact of this manipulation on habituation of subjective arousal responses across a night. Our results show that TMR during REM, but not SWS significantly decreased subjective arousal, and this effect is driven by the more negative stimuli. These results support one aspect of the sleep to forget, sleep to remember (SFSR) hypothesis which proposes that emotional memory reactivation during REM sleep underlies sleep-dependent habituation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License An author correction for this article was published at,
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2399-3642
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2021
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 21:50

Citation Data

Cited 14 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics