REM sleep and memory processing

The role of rapid eye movement sleep for amygdala-related memory processing.
Genzel L, Spoormaker V, Konrad BN, Dresler M.
Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Jan 28.

Over the years, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been associated with general memory consolidation, specific consolidation of perceptual, procedural, emotional and fear memories, brain maturation and preparation of waking consciousness. More recently, some of these associations (e.g. general and procedural memory consolidation) have been shown to be unlikely, while others (e.g. brain maturation and consciousness) remain inconclusive. In this review, we argue that both behavioral and neurophysiological evidence supports a role of REM sleep for amygdala-related memory processing: the amygdala-hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex network involved in emotional processing, fear memory and valence consolidation shows strongest activity during REM sleep, in contrast to the hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex only network which is more active during non-REM sleep. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms.

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