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PLoS One. 2016 Oct 19;11(10):e0165141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165141. eCollection 2016.

Test Expectation Enhances Memory Consolidation across Both Sleep and Wake.

Author information

Furman University, Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, Greenville, South Carolina, United States of America.
Current Address: University of British Columbia, Department of Psychology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Memory consolidation benefits from post-training sleep. However, recent studies suggest that sleep does not uniformly benefit all memory, but instead prioritizes information that is important to the individual. Here, we examined the effect of test expectation on memory consolidation across sleep and wakefulness. Following reports that information with strong "future relevance" is preferentially consolidated during sleep, we hypothesized that test expectation would enhance memory consolidation across a period of sleep, but not across wakefulness. To the contrary, we found that expectation of a future test enhanced memory for both spatial and motor learning, but that this effect was equivalent across both wake and sleep retention intervals. These observations differ from those of least two prior studies, and fail to support the hypothesis that the "future relevance" of learned material moderates its consolidation selectively during sleep.

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