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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 May 2;103(18):7124-9. Epub 2006 Apr 24.

Sleep after spatial learning promotes covert reorganization of brain activity.

Author information

1
Cyclotron Research Center, University of Liège, Bâtiment B30, 4000 Liège, Belgium.

Abstract

Sleep promotes the integration of recently acquired spatial memories into cerebral networks for the long term. In this study, we examined how sleep deprivation hinders this consolidation process. Using functional MRI, we mapped regional cerebral activity during place-finding navigation in a virtual town, immediately after learning and 3 days later, in subjects either allowed regular sleep (RS) or totally sleep-deprived (TSD) on the first posttraining night. At immediate and delayed retrieval, place-finding navigation elicited increased brain activity in an extended hippocampo-neocortical network in both RS and TSD subjects. Behavioral performance was equivalent between groups. However, striatal navigation-related activity increased more at delayed retrieval in RS than in TSD subjects. Furthermore, correlations between striatal response and behavioral performance, as well as functional connectivity between the striatum and the hippocampus, were modulated by posttraining sleep. These data suggest that brain activity is restructured during sleep in such a way that navigation in the virtual environment, initially related to a hippocampus-dependent spatial strategy, becomes progressively contingent in part on a response-based strategy mediated by the striatum. Both neural strategies eventually relate to equivalent performance levels, indicating that covert reorganization of brain patterns underlying navigation after sleep is not necessarily accompanied by overt changes in behavior.

PMID:
16636288
PMCID:
PMC1459028
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0510198103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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