Enhancing memory-related sleep spindles through learning and electrical brain stimulation

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Iyer, Kartik
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Sleep has been strongly implicated in mediating memory consolidation through hippocampal-neocortical communication. Evidence suggests offline processing of encoded information in the brain during slow wave sleep (SWS), specifically during slow oscillations and spindles. In this work, we used active exploration and learning tasks to study post-experience sleep spindle density changes in rats. Experiences lead to subsequent changes in sleep spindles, but the strength and timing of the effect was task-dependent. Brain stimulation in humans and rats have been shown to enhance memory consolidation. However, the exact stimulation parameters which lead to the strongest memory enhancement have not been fully explored. We tested the efficacy of both cortical sinusoidal direct current stimulation and intracortical pulse stimulation to enhance slow oscillations and spindle density. Pulse stimulation reliably evoked state-dependent slow oscillations and spindles during SWS with increased hippocampal ripple-spindle coupling, demonstrating potential in memory enhancement.
learning and memory , sleep , spindles , electrical brain stimulation , Sleep--Physiological aspects , Memory consolidation--Research , Brain stimulation , Slow wave sleep--Research , Brain--Physiology , Brain--Electric properties , Cognitive neuroscience , Learning--Physiological aspects , Memory transfer--Research , Dissertations, Academic