sleep; memory; reactivation; consolidation; neural oscillations
Göldi Maurice, Schreiner Thomas (2017), Clicking the brain into deep sleep. Commentary on Weigenand et al.(2016), in European Journal of Neuroscience
Groch Sabine, Schreiner Thomas, Rasch Björn, Huber Reto, WIlhelm Ines (2017), Prior knowledge is essential for the beneficial effect of targeted memory reactivation during sleep, in Scientific Reports
Schreiner Thomas, Lehmann Mick, Rasch Björn (2017), Reinforcing language learning during sleep, in Rasch Björn, Axmacher Nikolai (ed.), 347-366.
Lehmann Mick, Schreiner Thomas, Seifritz Erich, Rasch Björn (2016), Emotional arousal modulates oscillatory correlates of targeted memory reactivation during NREM, but not REM sleep, in Scientific Reports
Schreiner Thomas, Rasch Björn, To gain or not to gain - The complex role of sleep for memory: Comment on Dumay (2016)., in Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
During sleep, newly encoded events are spontaneously reactivated, which is assumed to underlie the beneficial effect of sleep on memory consolidation. The causal role of reactivations during sleep for memory consolidation has been consistently shown by studies that induced reactivations during sleep by re-exposure to learning associated memory cues (e.g. odors, sounds, words) which resulted in improved memory recall the next day. Interestingly, neural signs of memory reactivation and replay do not only occur during sleep, but also during post-learning wakefulness. However, the functional role of those post-learning memory reactivations during wakefulness and their possible relevance for reactivation, selection and consolidation processes during subsequent sleep are largely unknown. In this project, I aim at identifying the functional role and neural mechanisms of awake reactivations for subsequent memory consolidation processes during sleep. I propose that reactivations during wake tag individual memories for later processing during sleep. Thus, memories reactivated during post-learning wakefulness are preferentially further reactivated and consolidated during subsequent sleep. Furthermore, if reactivation processes during wakefulness and sleep share common principles and functionally interact, they might share common oscillatory mechanisms. I will use state-of-the-art brain imaging methodology during wakefulness and sleep to examine this important research question (i.e. simultaneous MEG / EEG recordings). Healthy young participants will learn word / picture associations and they will be re-exposed to parts of the words during post-learning wakefulness, post-learning sleep or both. Memory recall will be tested after sleep. I will focus on the neural correlates of the so-called “subsequent reactivation effect” (SRE), by comparing neural signals during cued reactivation of subsequently remembered vs. forgotten items. The results of the proposed project will have the potential to improve our knowledge of the behavioral effects and neural underpinnings of successful reactivations during wakefulness and sleep, their functional interaction and memory formation in general. From an application-oriented view (e.g. educational settings), getting a clearer picture of the reactivation processes during wakefulness and sleep would be of utmost importance.