The benefits of targeted memory reactivation for consolidation in sleep are contingent on memory accuracy and direct cue-memory associations

Scott A. Cairney*, Shane Lindsay, Justyna M. Sobczak, Ken A. Paller, M. Gareth Gaskell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Objectives: To investigate how the effects of targeted memory reactivation (TMR) are influenced by memory accuracy prior to sleep and the presence or absence of direct cue-memory associations. Methods: 30 participants associated each of 50 pictures with an unrelated word and then with a screen location in two separate tasks. During picturelocation training, each picture was also presented with a semantically related sound. The sounds were therefore directly associated with the picture locations but indirectly associated with the words. During a subsequent nap, half of the sounds were replayed in slow wave sleep (SWS). The effect of TMR on memory for the picture locations (direct cue-memory associations) and picture-word pairs (indirect cue-memory associations) was then examined. Results: TMR reduced overall memory decay for recall of picture locations. Further analyses revealed a benefit of TMR for picture locations recalled with a low degree of accuracy prior to sleep, but not those recalled with a high degree of accuracy. The benefit of TMR for low accuracy memories was predicted by time spent in SWS. There was no benefit of TMR for memory of the picture-word pairs, irrespective of memory accuracy prior to sleep. Conclusions: TMR provides the greatest benefit to memories recalled with a low degree of accuracy prior to sleep. The memory benefits of TMR may also be contingent on direct cue-memory associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1150
Number of pages12
JournalSleep
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • Consolidation
  • Memory
  • Reactivation
  • Slow wave sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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