Odor Cues During Slow-Wave Sleep Prompt Declarative Memory Consolidation

  title={Odor Cues During Slow-Wave Sleep Prompt Declarative Memory Consolidation},
  author={Bj{\"o}rn Rasch and Christian B{\"u}chel and Steffen Gais and Jan Born},
  pages={1426 - 1429}
Sleep facilitates memory consolidation. A widely held model assumes that this is because newly encoded memories undergo covert reactivation during sleep. We cued new memories in humans during sleep by presenting an odor that had been presented as context during prior learning, and so showed that reactivation indeed causes memory consolidation during sleep. Re-exposure to the odor during slow-wave sleep (SWS) improved the retention of hippocampus-dependent declarative memories but not of… 
Odor-evoked category reactivation in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex during sleep promotes memory consolidation
Using pattern analysis of fMRI ensemble activity, it is found that presentation of odor cues during sleep promotes reactivation of category-level information in ventromedial prefrontal cortex that significantly correlates with post-sleep memory performance.
No effect of odor-induced memory reactivation during REM sleep on declarative memory stability
It is proposed that the beneficial effect of reactivation during sleep on memory stability might be critically linked to processes characterizing SWS including, e.g., slow oscillatory activity, sleep spindles, or low cholinergic tone, which are required for a successful redistribution of memories from medial temporal lobe regions to neocortical long-term stores.
Odor cueing during slow-wave sleep benefits memory independently of low cholinergic tone
This study finds that memory performance was better after odor cueing compared to odorless vehicle, independent of physostigmine or placebo administration, challenging the assumption that odor-cued and spontaneous memory reactivation rely on the same neuropharmacological mechanisms.
Sleep to forget: interference of fear memories during sleep
It is demonstrated that specific fear memories can be selectively reactivated and either strengthened or attenuated during sleep, suggesting the potential for developing sleep therapies for emotional disorders.
Auditory feedback blocks memory benefits of cueing during sleep
It is shown that the memory benefits of cueing Dutch vocabulary during sleep are in fact completely blocked when memory cues are directly followed by either correct or conflicting auditory feedback, or a pure tone.
Reactivation of interference during sleep does not impair ongoing memory consolidation
In contrast to the hypothesis, cueing of the interference during sleep did not impair consolidation of the newly learned memories: odour and vehicle conditions did not differ in memory recall after sleep.
Reactivating Memories during Sleep by Odors: Odor Specificity and Associated Changes in Sleep Oscillations
The results indicate that odor-induced memory reactivations are odor specific and trigger changes in slow-wave and spindle power possibly reflecting a bottom–up influence of hippocampal memory replay on cortical slow oscillations as well as thalamo-cortical sleep spindles.
Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep.
The results indicate that verbal cues presented during NonREM sleep reactivate associated memories, and facilitate later recall of foreign vocabulary without impairing ongoing consolidation processes.
Cued reactivation during slow-wave sleep induces brain connectivity changes related to memory stabilization
It was found that cue presentation during slow-wave sleep increased global network integration of occipital cortex, a visual region that was also active during retrieval of object locations, and this cross-regional integration may be instrumental for the consolidation and long-term storage of enduring memories.
Offline consolidation of memory varies with time in slow wave sleep and can be accelerated by cuing memory reactivations


Reactivation of hippocampal ensemble memories during sleep.
Recordings from large ensembles of hippocampal "place cells" in three rats showed that cells that fired together when the animal occupied particular locations in the environment exhibited an increased tendency to fire together during subsequent sleep, in comparison to sleep episodes preceding the behavioral tasks.
Sleep to Remember
  • J. Born, B. Rasch, S. Gais
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
  • 2006
A central role for consolidating memories is played by the slow oscillation, that is, the oscillating field potential change dominating SWS, which synchronizes the occurrence of sharp wave ripples accompanying memory reactivations in the hippocampus with thalamocortical spindle activity.
Coordinated memory replay in the visual cortex and hippocampus during sleep
It is found that spiking patterns not only in the cortex but also in the hippocampus were organized into frames, defined as periods of stepwise increase in neuronal population activity.
The Role of Sleep in Learning and Memory
Evidence for the influence of sleep discharge patterns on memory traces remains fragmentary and the underlying role of sleep in learning and memory has yet to be precisely characterized.
Effects of Early and Late Nocturnal Sleep on Declarative and Procedural Memory
The experiments for the first time dissociate specific effects of early and late sleep on two principal types of memory, declarative and procedural, in humans, and the benefit from sleep on recall depended on the phase of sleep and on the type of memory.
Experience-dependent changes in cerebral activation during human REM sleep
Using positron emission tomography and regional cerebral blood flow measurements, it is shown that waking experience influences regional brain activity during subsequent sleep and supports the hypothesis that memory traces are processed during REM sleep in humans.
Boosting slow oscillations during sleep potentiates memory
It is shown that inducing slow oscillation-like potential fields by transcranial application of oscillating potentials during early nocturnal non-rapid-eye-movement sleep, enhances the retention of hippocampus-dependent declarative memories in healthy humans.
Sleep-dependent memory consolidation
Converging evidence, from the molecular to the phenomenological, leaves little doubt that offline memory reprocessing during sleep is an important component of how the authors' memories are formed and ultimately shaped.