Brief Communication abstract


Nature Neuroscience 12, 122 - 123 (2009)
Published online: 18 January 2009 | doi:10.1038/nn.2253

Sleep benefits subsequent hippocampal functioning

Ysbrand D Van Der Werf1,2, Ellemarije Altena1,3, Menno M Schoonheim4, Ernesto J Sanz-Arigita1,4, José C Vis1, Wim De Rijke2 & Eus J W Van Someren1,2

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Sleep before learning benefits memory encoding through unknown mechanisms. We found that even a mild sleep disruption that suppressed slow-wave activity and induced shallow sleep, but did not reduce total sleep time, was sufficient to affect subsequent successful encoding-related hippocampal activation and memory performance in healthy human subjects. Implicit learning was not affected. Our results suggest that the hippocampus is particularly sensitive to shallow, but intact, sleep.

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  1. Department of Sleep and Cognition, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  2. Departments of Clinical Neurophysiology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  3. Neurology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  4. Radiology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Correspondence to: Ysbrand D Van Der Werf1,2 e-mail: y.van.der.werf@nin.knaw.nl



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