Community//

Researchers Find Circuit Responsible For Building Memories During Sleep

The findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal eNeuro.

During our deepest stage of sleep, known as slow-wave sleep, researchers might have uncovered a mechanism responsible for the creation of memories, according to a new study released in eNeuro.

In the study, a team of researchers at the University of Alberta focused on how the nucleus reuniens could induce activity during slow-wave sleep. The thalamic nucleus reuniens (RE), a component of the thalamic midline nuclear group, correlates with two additional structures in the brain, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex, leading to the creation of memories.

“Before this study, we did not know what was responsible for connecting the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus,” said Brandon Hauer, the study’s lead author.

“This under-studied and relatively unknown brain area likely has a substantial role in forming long-term memories while you sleep. So if you studied hard for a test and then slept on it, you may have to thank your nucleus reuniens for turning that knowledge into a more permanent memory.”

The findings were determined by the utilization of electrophysiological, optogenetic and chemogenetic methods in rodents.

The Findings

Based on the results, researchers showed that correlations between both structures through the nucleus reuniens are needed for the subsequent activity of the slow oscillation.

“Our data show that the connections mediated between medial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus via the nucleus reuniens appear to be necessary for coordination of the slow oscillation between these structures,” Hauer explained in the findings.

“Together, our data demonstrate that the RE has a critical role in mediating frontal cortical–HPC coordination, particularly during slow-wave/off-line states.”

“This has marked implications for sleep-dependent memory consolidation and highlights the RE as an exciting avenue for future study.”

This article originally appeared on Mental Daily.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Well-Being//

This Activity Can Help Make Kids Smarter and Happier

by The Conversation
Well-Being//

How Lost Sleep Affects Our Relationships

by Krissy Eliot
Well-Being//

Neuroscience Discovered 5 Things That Will Make You Happy

by Eric Barker

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.