Description: We use a split-night protocol to investigate the influence of different sleep phases on successful consolidation of conditioned fear and extinction. Such a protocol utilizes the fact that in humans the first half of the night is dominated by slow wave sleep, whereas during the second half, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is more predominant. Our data show that only REM-rich sleep during the second half of the night promoted good discrimination between fear-relevant and neutral stimuli during recall, while staying awake led to a recovery of discrimination between extinguished and neutral stimuli. This suggests that sleep following extinction contributes independently to successful extinction memory consolidation.
Related article: http://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3083-15.2016
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