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

Cairney, Scott A., Durrant, Simon J., Power, Rebecca and Lewis, Penelope A. ORCID: 2015. Complementary roles of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep in emotional memory consolidation. Cerebral Cortex 25 (6) , pp. 1565-1575. 10.1093/cercor/bht349

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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.

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: hippocampus; neocortex; reorganization; sleep
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1047-3211
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:52

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