Targeted memory reactivation in human REM sleep elicits detectable reactivation

Abstract

It is now well established that memories can reactivate during non-rapid eye movement sleep (non-REM), but the question of whether equivalent reactivation can be detected in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is hotly debated. To examine this, we used a technique called targeted memory reactivation (TMR) in which sounds are paired with learned material in wake, and then re-presented in subsequent sleep, in this case REM, to trigger reactivation. We then used machine learning classifiers to identify reactivation of task related motor imagery from wake in REM sleep. Interestingly, the strength of measured reactivation positively predicted overnight performance improvement. These findings provide the first evidence for memory reactivation in human REM sleep after TMR that is directly related to brain activity during wakeful task performance.

Data availability

Data availabilityAll relevant data generated or analysed are available along with Matlab scripts. Data are available at the Open Science Framework (OSF):https://osf.io/wmyae/?view_only=5bd3badf3acb46a88a209dbed57c1a85https://osf.io/fq7v5/?view_only=02380297e8334391ab9b473e4efe7d0c

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Mahmoud EA Abdellahi

    School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    AbdellahiMe@cardiff.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7765-9028
  2. Anne CM Koopman

    School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Matthias S Treder

    School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Penelope A Lewis

    School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    lewisp8@cardiff.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

ERC (681607)

  • Penelope A Lewis

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Laura L Colgin, University of Texas at Austin, United States

Ethics

Human subjects: This study was approved by the School of Psychology, Cardiff University Research Ethics Committee, and all participants gave written informed consents. Information of the participants are anonymised. Reference: EC.16.11.08.4772RA2. Risk Assessment: 1479917576_1583

Version history

  1. Preprint posted: December 2, 2021 (view preprint)
  2. Received: October 19, 2022
  3. Accepted: June 22, 2023
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: June 23, 2023 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: August 14, 2023 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2023, Abdellahi et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Mahmoud EA Abdellahi
  2. Anne CM Koopman
  3. Matthias S Treder
  4. Penelope A Lewis
(2023)
Targeted memory reactivation in human REM sleep elicits detectable reactivation
eLife 12:e84324.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.84324

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.84324

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