Targeted memory reactivation during sleep influences social bias as a function of slow-oscillation phase and delta power

Tao Xia, James W. Antony, Ken A. Paller, Xiaoqing Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To understand how memories are reactivated and consolidated during sleep, experimenters have employed the unobtrusive re-presentation of memory cues from a variety of pre-sleep learning tasks. Using this procedure, known as targeted memory reactivation (TMR), we previously found that reactivation of counter-social-bias training during post-training sleep could selectively enhance training effects in reducing unintentional social biases. Here, we describe re-analyses of electroencephalographic (EEG) data from this previous study to characterize neurophysiological correlates of TMR-induced bias reduction. We found that TMR benefits in bias reduction were associated with (a) the timing of memory-related cue presentation relative to the 0.1–1.5 Hz slow-oscillation phase and (b) cue-elicited EEG power within the 1–4 Hz delta range. Although cue delivery was at a fixed rate in this study and not contingent on the slow-oscillation phase, cues were found to be clustered in slow-oscillation upstates for those participants with stronger TMR benefits. Similarly, higher cue-elicited delta power 250–1000 ms after cue onset was also linked with larger TMR benefits. These electrophysiological results substantiate the claim that memory reactivation altered social bias in the original study, while also informing neural explanations of these benefits. Future research should consider these sleep physiology parameters in relation to TMR applications and to memory reactivation in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14224
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • EEG
  • memory consolidation
  • slow-oscillation phase
  • slow-wave sleep
  • targeted memory reactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)


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