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Cued memory reactivation during sleep influences skill learning


Information acquired during waking can be reactivated during sleep, promoting memory stabilization. After people learned to produce two melodies in time with moving visual symbols, we enhanced relative performance by presenting one melody during an afternoon nap. Electrophysiological signs of memory processing during sleep corroborated the notion that appropriate auditory stimulation that does not disrupt sleep can nevertheless bias memory consolidation in relevant brain circuitry.

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Figure 1: Methods and behavioral results.
Figure 2: Sleep cues and physiology.


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We thank B. Mander, J. Saletin, S. Greer and D. Oudiette for technical help. This material is based on work supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS1025697, National Institute of Aging grant T32-AG020418 and National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke grant T32-NS047987.

Author information




J.W.A. and K.A.P. conceived the design and all of the authors contributed to developing the procedures. J.W.A. and J.K.O. collected the data. J.W.A. analyzed the data. J.W.A. and K.A.P. wrote the manuscript. All of the authors discussed the results and finalized the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ken A Paller.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Figures 1–5, Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Results (PDF 1092 kb)

Supplementary Movie 1

A real-time movie of task performance. (MOV 10347 kb)

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Antony, J., Gobel, E., O'Hare, J. et al. Cued memory reactivation during sleep influences skill learning. Nat Neurosci 15, 1114–1116 (2012).

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