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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 May;121:72-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.04.002. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Role of sleep for encoding of emotional memory.

Author information

1
Human Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. Electronic address: kaida-kosuke@umin.ac.jp.
2
Human Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
3
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

Abstract

Total sleep deprivation (TSD) has been consistently found to impair encoding of information during ensuing wakefulness, probably through suppressing NonREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. However, a possible contribution of missing REM sleep to this encoding impairment after TSD has so far not been systematically examined in humans, although such contribution might be suspected in particular for emotional information. Here, in two separate experiments in young healthy men, we compared effects of TSD and of selective REM sleep deprivation (REMD), relative to respective control conditions of undisturbed sleep, on the subsequent encoding of neutral and emotional pictures. The pictures were presented in conjunction with colored frames to also assess related source memory. REMD was achieved by tones presented contingently upon initial signs of REM sleep. Encoding capabilities were examined in the evening (18:00h) after the experimental nights, by a picture recognition test right after encoding. TSD significantly decreased both the rate of correctly recognized pictures and of recalled frames associated with the pictures. The TSD effect was robust and translated into an impaired long term memory formation, as it was likewise observed on a second recognition testing one week after the encoding phase. Contrary to our expectation, REMD did not affect encoding in general, or particularly of emotional pictures. Also, REMD did not affect valence ratings of the encoded pictures. However, like TSD, REMD distinctly impaired vigilance at the time of encoding. Altogether, these findings indicate an importance of NonREM rather than REM sleep for the encoding of information that is independent of the emotionality of the materials.

KEYWORDS:

Emotion; Memory encoding; Sleep

PMID:
25911247
DOI:
10.1016/j.nlm.2015.04.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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