Sparse Activity of Hippocampal Adult-Born Neurons during REM Sleep Is Necessary for Memory Consolidation.

Journal: Neuron

Published: 2020-05-20

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.05.008

Affiliations: 13

Authors: 26

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Research Highlight

Adult-born neurons strengthen memories during sleep in mice



Learning-associated neurons that form in the adult mouse brain must get reactivated during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep for new memories to stick.

The fact that dreaming occurs during REM suggests that this stage of sleep may be important for memory processing and consolidation.

Now, a University of Tsukuba–led team has shown that adult-born neurons inside a region of the hippocampus known as the dentate gyrus become activated after a learning experience and that they are then reactivated during the mice’s next phases of REM sleep.

Using optogenetic techniques, the researchers then modulated neuronal activity during REM sleep —. Any perturbation caused the mice to forget their fears, suggesting that these neurons are critical to memory replay and consolidation.

If validated in the human brain, these findings could help scientists develop new treatments for people with memory disorders.

Supported content

  1. Neuron 107, 552-565 (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.05.008
Institutions Share
University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.58
The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan 0.15
Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), CU, United States of America (USA) 0.08
Nagoya City University, Japan 0.06
The Emotional Brain Institute (EBI), United States of America (USA) 0.04
The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK) 0.04
RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS), Japan 0.04
National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), NINS, Japan 0.01