• friday, 16 february 2024—14:00

    Sara Mednick - How does REM sleep sculpt memories?

    Sara Mednick

    The field of sleep and memory has gained mechanistic understanding of the neural processes underlying memory consolidation via the identification of discrete neural oscillatory events in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep in human scalp electroencephalography (EEG), along with their homologues in animal models. But that story is only half told, without understanding the contribution of REM sleep. But, despite the known behavioral benefits of REM sleep, EEG events linked with behavior have not been discovered. This knowledge gap hinders mechanistic understanding of the function of sleep, as well as the development of biophysical models and REM-based causal interventions. In my talk, I will consider a body of work on REM function and introduce our new findings of REM bursts of activity in high-density, scalp EEG within theta (4 – 8 Hz) and alpha (8 – 13 Hz) bands, as well as their association with learning and memory. Our work provides a critical and novel bridge to understand the role of human REM sleep in learning, memory, and forgetting and the discrete events in human scalp EEG that support these processes.

    external seminar