Fear Extinction Memory Consolidation Requires Potentiation of Pontine-Wave Activity during REM Sleep.
ABSTRACT Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction.
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ABSTRACT: Sleep can foster the reorganization of memory, i.e. the emergence of new memory content that has not directly been encoded. Current neurophysiological and behavioral evidence can be integrated into a model positing that REM sleep particularly promotes the disintegration of existing schemas and their recombination in the form of associative thinking, creativity and the shaping of emotional memory. Particularly, REM sleep related dreaming might represent a mentation correlate for the reconfiguration of memory. In a final section, the potential relevance for psychiatry and psychotherapy is discussed.Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 01/2015; · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neurobiological mechanisms of emotional memory processing can be investigated using classical fear conditioning as a model system, and evidence from multiple lines of research suggests that sleep influences consolidation of emotional memory. In rodents, some of this evidence comes from a common finding that sleep deprivation from 0 to 6 h after fear conditioning training impairs processing of conditioned fear memory. Here, we show that during a 6-h session of sleep-wake (S-W) recording, immediately after a session of context-associated fear conditioning training, rats spent more time in wakefulness (W) and less time in slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This context-associated fear conditioning training-induced reduction in SWS lasts for 2 h, and the REM sleep reduction lasts throughout the entire 6-h post-training S-W recording period. Interestingly, these reductions in SWS and REM sleep during this 6-h period did not impair memory consolidation for context-associated fear conditioning. The results of this study show, for the first time, that lesions within the dorsal part of the subcoeruleus nucleus (SubCD), which were unintentionally caused by the implantation of bipolar recording electrodes, impair consolidation of context-associated fear conditioning memory. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that emotional memory processing associated with fear conditioning can be completed successfully within less than a normal amount of sleep, but it requires a structurally and functionally intact SubCD, an area in the brain stem where phasic pontine wave (P-wave) generating cells are located.Experimental Brain Research 02/2014; 232(5). · 2.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Odor perception is hypothesized to be an experience-dependent process involving the encoding of odor objects by distributed olfactory cortical ensembles. Olfactory cortical neurons coactivated by a specific pattern of odorant evoked input become linked through association fiber synaptic plasticity, creating a template of the familiar odor. In this way, experience and memory play an important role in odor perception and discrimination. In other systems, memory consolidation occurs partially via slow-wave sleep (SWS)-dependent replay of activity patterns originally evoked during waking. SWS is ideal for replay given hyporesponsive sensory systems, and thus reduced interference. Here, using artificial patterns of olfactory bulb stimulation in a fear conditioning procedure in the rat, we tested the effects of imposed post-training replay during SWS and waking on strength and precision of pattern memory. The results show that imposed replay during post-training SWS enhanced the subsequent strength of memory, whereas the identical replay during waking induced extinction. The magnitude of this enhancement was dependent on the timing of imposed replay relative to cortical sharp-waves. Imposed SWS replay of stimuli, which differed from the conditioned stimulus, did not affect conditioned stimulus memory strength but induced generalization of the fear memory to novel artificial patterns. Finally, post-training disruption of piriform cortex intracortical association fiber synapses, hypothesized to be critical for experience-dependent odor coding, also impaired subsequent memory precision but not strength. These results suggest that SWS replay in the olfactory cortex enhances memory consolidation, and that memory precision is dependent on the fidelity of that replay.Journal of Neuroscience 04/2014; 34(15):5134-42. · 6.75 Impact Factor