Posttraining increases in REM sleep intensity implicate REM sleep in memory processing and provide a biological marker of learning potential

  • Smith C
  • Nixon M
  • Nader R
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Abstract

Posttraining rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been reported to be important for efficient memory consolidation. The present results demonstrate increases in the intensity of REM sleep during the night of sleep following cognitive procedural/implicit task acquisition. These REM increases manifest as increases in total number of rapid eye movements (REMs) and REM densities, whereas the actual time spent in REM sleep did not change. Further, the participants with the higher intelligence (IQ) scores showed superior task acquisition scores as well as larger posttraining increases in number of REMs and REM density. No other sleep state changes were observed. None of the pretraining baseline measures of REM sleep were correlated with either measured IQ or task performance. Posttraining increases in REM sleep intensity implicate REM sleep mechanisms in further off-line memory processing, and provide a biological marker of learning potential.

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Authors

  • Carlyle T. Smith

  • Margaret R. Nixon

  • Rebecca S. Nader

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