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Cued memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep promotes explicit knowledge of a motor sequence

Cousins, James M., El-Deredy, Wael, Parkes, Laura M., Hennies, Nora and Lewis, Penelope A. ORCID: 2014. Cued memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep promotes explicit knowledge of a motor sequence. Journal of Neuroscience 34 (48) , pp. 15870-15876. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1011-14.2014

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Memories are gradually consolidated after initial encoding, and this can sometimes lead to a transition from implicit to explicit knowledge. The exact physiological processes underlying this reorganization remain unclear. Here, we used a serial reaction time task to determine whether targeted memory reactivation (TMR) of specific memory traces during slow-wave sleep promotes the emergence of explicit knowledge. Human participants learned two 12-item sequences of button presses (A and B). These differed in both cue order and in the auditory tones associated with each of the four fingers (one sequence had four higher-pitched tones). Subsequent overnight sleep was monitored, and the tones associated with one learned sequence were replayed during slow-wave sleep. After waking, participants demonstrated greater explicit knowledge (p = 0.005) and more improved procedural skill (p = 0.04) for the cued sequence relative to the uncued sequence. Furthermore, fast spindles (13.5–15 Hz) at task-related motor regions predicted overnight enhancement in procedural skill (r = 0.71, p = 0.01). Auditory cues had no effect on post-sleep memory performance in a control group who received TMR before sleep. These findings suggest that TMR during sleep can alter memory representations and promote the emergence of explicit knowledge, supporting the notion that reactivation during sleep is a key mechanism in this process.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: consolidation; explicit memory; learning; reactivation; replay; slow-wave sleep
Additional Information: This article is freely available online through the J Neurosci Author Open Choice option.
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 1529-2401
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 14 September 2014
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 01:38

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