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Does sleep play a role in memory consolidation? A comparative test

Capellini, Isabella; McNamara, Patrick; Preston, Brian T.; Nunn, Charles L.; Barton, Robert A.

Authors

Patrick McNamara

Brian T. Preston

Charles L. Nunn

Robert A. Barton



Contributors

Olaf Sporns
Editor

Abstract

Sleep is a pervasive characteristic of mammalian species, yet its purpose remains obscure. It is often proposed that 'sleep is for the brain', a view that is supported by experimental studies showing that sleep improves cognitive processes such as memory consolidation. Some comparative studies have also reported that mammalian sleep durations are higher among more encephalized species. However, no study has assessed the relationship between sleep and the brain structures that are implicated in specific cognitive processes across species. The hippocampus, neocortex and amygdala are important for memory consolidation and learning and are also in a highly actived state during sleep. We therefore investigated the evolutionary relationship between mammalian sleep and the size of these brain structures using phylogenetic comparative methods. We found that evolutionary increases in the size of the amygdala are associated with corresponding increases in NREM sleep durations. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that NREM sleep is functionally linked with specializations of the amygdala, including perhaps memory processing. © 2009 Capellini et al.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 25, 2009
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Article Number ARTN e4609
Pages e4609
Institution Citation Capellini, I., McNamara, P., Preston, B. T., Nunn, C. L., & Barton, R. A. (2009). Does sleep play a role in memory consolidation? A comparative test. PloS one, 4(2), e4609. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004609
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004609
Keywords Sleep, Memory consolidation, Amygdala, Memory, Hippocampus, Neocortex, Learning, Animal phylogenetics
Publisher URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0004609
Copyright Statement © 2009 Capellini et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Additional Information Copy of article first published in PLoS ONE, 2009, v.4, issue 2

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Copyright Statement
© 2009 Capellini et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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