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Brain Stimul. 2014 Jul-Aug;7(4):508-15. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Transcranial slow oscillation stimulation during sleep enhances memory consolidation in rats.

Author information

1
University of Lübeck, Department of Neuroendocrinology, Lübeck, Germany.
2
University of Lübeck, Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences, Lübeck, Germany; University of Lübeck, Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems, Lübeck, Germany.
3
The City College of The City University of New York, Department of Biomedical Engineering, New York, USA.
4
University of Lübeck, Department of Neuroendocrinology, Lübeck, Germany; University of Tübingen, Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Tübingen, Germany.
5
University of Lübeck, Department of Neuroendocrinology, Lübeck, Germany; University of Lübeck, Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences, Lübeck, Germany. Electronic address: marshall@uni-luebeck.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The importance of slow-wave sleep (SWS), hallmarked by the occurrence of sleep slow oscillations (SO), for the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memories has been shown in numerous studies. Previously, the application of transcranial direct current stimulation, oscillating at the frequency of endogenous slow oscillations, during SWS enhanced memory consolidation for a hippocampus dependent task in humans suggesting a causal role of slowly oscillating electric fields for sleep dependent memory consolidation.

OBJECTIVE:

Here, we aimed to replicate and extend these findings to a rodent model.

METHODS:

Slow oscillatory direct transcranial current stimulation (SO-tDCS) was applied over the frontal cortex of rats during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and its effects on memory consolidation in the one-trial object-place recognition task were examined. A retention interval of 24 h was used to investigate the effects of SO-tDCS on long-term memory.

RESULTS:

Animals' preference for the displaced object was significantly greater than chance only when animals received SO-tDCS. EEG spectral power indicated a trend toward a transient enhancement of endogenous SO activity in the SO-tDCS condition.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results support the hypothesis that slowly oscillating electric fields causal affect sleep dependent memory consolidation, and demonstrate that oscillatory tDCS can be a valuable tool to investigate the function of endogenous cortical network activity.

KEYWORDS:

EEG; Memory consolidation; Sleep; Slow oscillation stimulation; tDCS

PMID:
24698973
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2014.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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