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J Neurosci:睡眠确实有助增强记忆力

来源:中国科学报 2013-12-19 12:45

一直以来人们认为,高质量的睡眠会增强记忆力。最近,德国研究人员用实验证实了这一看法——处于睡眠状态时,与特殊记忆有关的大脑神经元会活跃起来,这种脑神经反复循环的活动会增强记忆力。

记忆力的形成是一个渐进的过程,最初大脑仅是暂时存储新信息,将记忆长期化需要主动巩固和加深(如背诵等)。

德国神经退行性疾病研究中心和波恩大学的研究人员却发现,在休息状态时,大脑不需要外界干预也能激活记忆内容。

研究人员向10名平均年龄为24岁、身体健康的实验对象展示了一系列图片,包括青蛙、树木、飞机和人像。每张图片上都有一个白色的方块,位置各不相同。每名实验对象需要记住这些方块的位置。实验结束时再次出示这些图片,但图片上没有方块,研究人员要求实验对象指出这些方块原先所在的位置。

整个实验过程持续了几个小时,其中包括让实验对象打盹的时间。随后,研究人员使用功能性磁共振成像系统扫描实验对象的大脑活动,主要观测视觉皮层和海马体。

研究人员采用一套模式识别算法,来寻找最初大脑编码的神经元活动模式与打盹时的神经元活动模式之间是否相似。负责此项研究的尼古拉·阿克斯马赫博士说:“分析结果显示,最初的、与成像有关的神经元活动模式在大脑的睡眠阶段再次出现。”

研究人员在《神经科学学报》上发表论文说,这些神经元活动模式重复出现的频率越高,实验对象对图片的记忆越准确,这证实睡眠有助于增强记忆。这一发现还将为有关梦境的研究打开大门。(生物谷Bioon.com)

生物谷推荐的英文摘要

The Journal of Neuroscience            doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0414-13.2013

Memory Consolidation by Replay of Stimulus-Specific Neural Activity

Lorena Deuker1,2, Jan Olligs1, Juergen Fell1, Thorsten A. Kranz1,3, Florian Mormann1, Christian Montag4, Martin Reuter4,5, Christian E. Elger1, and Nikolai Axmacher1,6

Memory consolidation transforms initially labile memory traces into more stable representations. One putative mechanism for consolidation is the reactivation of memory traces after their initial encoding during subsequent sleep or waking state. However, it is still unknown whether consolidation of individual memory contents relies on reactivation of stimulus-specific neural representations in humans. Investigating stimulus-specific representations in humans is particularly difficult, but potentially feasible using multivariate pattern classification analysis (MVPA). Here, we show in healthy human participants that stimulus-specific activation patterns can indeed be identified with MVPA, that these patterns reoccur spontaneously during postlearning resting periods and sleep, and that the frequency of reactivation predicts subsequent memory for individual items. We conducted a paired-associate learning task with items and spatial positions and extracted stimulus-specific activity patterns by MVPA in a simultaneous electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. As a first step, we investigated the amount of fMRI volumes during rest that resembled either one of the items shown before or one of the items shown as a control after the resting period. Reactivations during both awake resting state and sleep predicted subsequent memory. These data are first evidence that spontaneous reactivation of stimulus-specific activity patterns during resting state can be investigated using MVPA. They show that reactivation occurs in humans and is behaviorally relevant for stabilizing memory traces against interference. They move beyond previous studies because replay was investigated on the level of individual stimuli and because reactivations were not evoked by sensory cues but occurred spontaneously.

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