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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jul 31;403(1-2):52-6. Epub 2006 May 22.

Twenty-four hours retention of visuospatial memory correlates with the number of parietal sleep spindles.

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Department of Neurology, National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, H-1021 Budapest, Huvösvölgyi út 116, Hungary.


Recent evidence suggests that the sleep-dependent consolidation of declarative memories relies on the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) rather than the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep. Moreover, a few studies both at the cellular and the behavioural levels have suggested the involvement of sleep spindles, the most synchronous oscillatory waveforms during NREM sleep stage 2, in this process. Our previous study showed that overnight verbal memory retention correlates with the total number of sleep spindles in left frontocentral areas, while spindling in other regions did not correlate with mnemonic retention. In the present study, we show that retention of visuospatial memories over a 24-h period correlates with the total number of sleep spindles detected over parietal regions during the intervening night-time sleep. This result provides further evidence for the association between sleep spindle activity and declarative memory consolidation, and suggests that visuospatial and verbal memory retention differ in the topographic distribution of the NREM spindle activity with which they are associated.

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