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Neuroscience. 2007 Feb 23;144(4):1186-92. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation selectively impairs recall of fear extinction in hippocampus-independent tasks in rats.

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1
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Nanhua University, Hengyang, Hunan, 421001, PR China.

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation (RSD) exerts a detrimental effect on some memory tasks. However, whether post-learning RSD impairs memory for fear extinction, an important model of inhibitory learning, remains to be elucidated. The present study examined the effects of post-extinction RSD from 0 to 6 h and 6 to 12 h on recall of fear extinction tested 24 h after extinction training. We found that RSD from 0 to 6 h significantly increased freezing when recall of extinction of cued fear was tested in the context in which rats received extinction training whereas RSD from 6 to 12 h had no effect (experiments 1 and 2, two hippocampus-independent memory tasks). RSD at either time point had no effect on freezing when recall of extinction of cued fear was tested in the context different from that in which extinction training occurred (experiment 3, a hippocampus-dependent memory task). Additionally, we observed no effect of RSD at either time point on freezing during recall test for extinction of contextual fear (experiment 4, a hippocampus-dependent memory task). These results suggest that the effects of post-extinction RSD on memory for fear extinction are complex. RSD impairs recall of fear extinction in hippocampus-independent tasks, but does not affect recall of fear extinction in hippocampus-dependent tasks. Our findings extend previous research on the effects of RSD on learning and memory and support the notion that REM sleep is involved in memory process of certain tasks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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