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The benefits of targeted memory reactivation for consolidation in sleep are contingent on memory accuracy and direct cue-memory associations

Lindsay, Shane; Cairney, Scott A.; Gaskell, M. Gareth; Paller, Ken A.; Sobczak, Justyna M.


Scott A. Cairney

Justyna M. Sobczak

Ken A. Paller

M. Gareth Gaskell


Objectives: To investigate how the effects of targeted memory reactivation (TMR) are influenced by memory accuracy prior to sleep and the presence or absence of direct cue-memory associations. Methods: 30 participants associated each of 50 pictures with an unrelated word and then with a screen location in two separate tasks. During picture-location training, each picture was also presented with a semantically related sound. The sounds were therefore directly associated with the picture locations but indirectly associated with the words. During a subsequent nap, half of the sounds were replayed in slow wave sleep (SWS) (TMR). The effect of TMR on memory for the picture locations (direct cue-memory associations) and picture-word pairs (indirect cue-memory associations) was then examined. Results: TMR reduced overall memory decay for recall of picture locations. Further analyses revealed a benefit of TMR for picture locations recalled with a low degree of accuracy prior to sleep, but not those recalled with a high degree of accuracy. The benefit of TMR for low accuracy memories was predicted by time spent in SWS. There was no benefit of TMR for memory of the picture-word pairs, irrespective of memory accuracy prior to sleep. Conclusions: TMR provides the greatest benefit to memories recalled with a low degree of accuracy prior to sleep. The memory benefits of TMR may also be contingent on direct cue-memory associations.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2016
Journal Sleep
Print ISSN 0161-8105
Electronic ISSN 1550-9109
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 5
Article Number PII sp-00533-15
Pages 1139-1150
Keywords Consolidation, Memory, Reactivation, Slow wave sleep
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a description of an article which has been published in: Sleep, 2016, v.39, issue 5


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© Copyright 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC

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