Coherent amygdalocortical theta promotes fear memory consolidation during paradoxical sleep.
ABSTRACT: Brain activity in sleep plays a crucial role in memory consolidation, an offline process that determines the long-term strength of memory traces. Consolidation efficacy differs across individuals, but the brain activity dynamics underlying these differences remain unknown. Here, we studied how interindividual variability in fear memory consolidation relates to neural activity in brain structures that participate in Pavlovian fear learning. From the end of training to testing 24 h later, some rats showed increased and others decreased conditioned fear responses. We found that overnight bidirectional changes in fear memory were selectively correlated with modifications in theta coherence between the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus during paradoxical sleep. Thus, our results suggest that theta coordination in the limbic system may influence interindividual differences in memory consolidation of aversive experiences.
Project description:Activity in hippocampal area CA1 is essential for consolidating episodic memories, but it is unclear how CA1 activity patterns drive memory formation. We find that in the hours following single-trial contextual fear conditioning (CFC), fast-spiking interneurons (which typically express parvalbumin (PV)) show greater firing coherence with CA1 network oscillations. Post-CFC inhibition of PV+ interneurons blocks fear memory consolidation. This effect is associated with loss of two network changes associated with normal consolidation: (1) augmented sleep-associated delta (0.5-4?Hz), theta (4-12?Hz) and ripple (150-250?Hz) oscillations; and (2) stabilization of CA1 neurons' functional connectivity patterns. Rhythmic activation of PV+ interneurons increases CA1 network coherence and leads to a sustained increase in the strength and stability of functional connections between neurons. Our results suggest that immediately following learning, PV+ interneurons drive CA1 oscillations and reactivation of CA1 ensembles, which directly promotes network plasticity and long-term memory formation.
Project description:Sleep is critical for proper memory consolidation. The locus coeruleus (LC) releases norepinephrine throughout the brain except when the LC falls silent throughout rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and prior to each non-REM (NREM) sleep spindle. We hypothesize that these transient LC silences allow the synaptic plasticity that is necessary to incorporate new information into pre-existing memory circuits. We found that spontaneous LC activity within sleep spindles triggers a decrease in spindle power. By optogenetically stimulating norepinephrine-containing LC neurons at 2 Hz during sleep, we reduced sleep spindle occurrence, as well as NREM delta power and REM theta power, without causing arousals or changing sleep amounts. Stimulating the LC during sleep following a hippocampus-dependent food location learning task interfered with consolidation of newly learned locations and reconsolidation of previous locations, disrupting next-day place cell activity. The LC stimulation-induced reduction in NREM sleep spindles, delta, and REM theta and reduced ripple-spindle coupling all correlated with decreased hippocampus-dependent performance on the task. Thus, periods of LC silence during sleep following learning are essential for normal spindle generation, delta and theta power, and consolidation of spatial memories.
Project description:Both emotion and sleep are independently known to modulate declarative memory. Memory can be facilitated by emotion, leading to enhanced consolidation across increasing time delays. Sleep also facilitates offline memory processing, resulting in superior recall the next day. Here we explore whether rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and aspects of its unique neurophysiology, underlie these convergent influences on memory. Using a nap paradigm, we measured the consolidation of neutral and negative emotional memories, and the association with REM-sleep electrophysiology. Subjects that napped showed a consolidation benefit for emotional but not neutral memories. The No-Nap control group showed no evidence of a consolidation benefit for either memory type. Within the Nap group, the extent of emotional memory facilitation was significantly correlated with the amount of REM sleep and also with right-dominant prefrontal theta power during REM. Together, these data support the role of REM-sleep neurobiology in the consolidation of emotional human memories, findings that have direct translational implications for affective psychiatric and mood disorders.
Project description:Learning-activated engram neurons play a critical role in memory recall. An untested hypothesis is that these same neurons play an instructive role in offline memory consolidation. Here we show that a visually-cued fear memory is consolidated during post-conditioning sleep in mice. We then use TRAP (targeted recombination in active populations) to genetically label or optogenetically manipulate primary visual cortex (V1) neurons responsive to the visual cue. Following fear conditioning, mice respond to activation of this visual engram population in a manner similar to visual presentation of fear cues. Cue-responsive neurons are selectively reactivated in V1 during post-conditioning sleep. Mimicking visual engram reactivation optogenetically leads to increased representation of the visual cue in V1. Optogenetic inhibition of the engram population during post-conditioning sleep disrupts consolidation of fear memory. We conclude that selective sleep-associated reactivation of learning-activated sensory populations serves as a necessary instructive mechanism for memory consolidation.
Project description:Oscillations in the hippocampal network during sleep are proposed to play a role in memory storage by patterning neuronal ensemble activity. Here we show that following single-trial fear learning, sleep deprivation (which impairs memory consolidation) disrupts coherent firing rhythms in hippocampal area CA1. State-targeted optogenetic inhibition of CA1 parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) interneurons during postlearning NREM sleep, but not REM sleep or wake, disrupts contextual fear memory (CFM) consolidation in a manner similar to sleep deprivation. NREM-targeted inhibition disrupts CA1 network oscillations which predict successful memory storage. Rhythmic optogenetic activation of PV+ interneurons following learning generates CA1 oscillations with coherent principal neuron firing. This patterning of CA1 activity rescues CFM consolidation in sleep-deprived mice. Critically, behavioral and optogenetic manipulations that disrupt CFM also disrupt learning-induced stabilization of CA1 ensembles' communication patterns in the hours following learning. Conversely, manipulations that promote CFM also promote long-term stability of CA1 communication patterns. We conclude that sleep promotes memory consolidation by generating coherent rhythms of CA1 network activity, which provide consistent communication patterns within neuronal ensembles. Most importantly, we show that this rhythmic patterning of activity is sufficient to promote long-term memory storage in the absence of sleep.
Project description:Sleep and memory are stable and heritable traits that strongly differ between individuals. Sleep benefits memory consolidation, and the amount of slow wave sleep, sleep spindles, and rapid eye movement sleep have been repeatedly identified as reliable predictors for the amount of declarative and/or emotional memories retrieved after a consolidation period filled with sleep. These studies typically encompass small sample sizes, increasing the probability of overestimating the real association strength. In a large sample we tested whether individual differences in sleep are predictive for individual differences in memory for emotional and neutral pictures.Between-subject design.Cognitive testing took place at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Sleep was recorded at participants' homes, using portable electroencephalograph-recording devices.Nine hundred-twenty-nine healthy young participants (mean age 22.48 ± 3.60 y standard deviation).None.In striking contrast to our expectations as well as numerous previous findings, we did not find any significant correlations between sleep and memory consolidation for pictorial stimuli.Our results indicate that individual differences in sleep are much less predictive for pictorial memory processes than previously assumed and suggest that previous studies using small sample sizes might have overestimated the association strength between sleep stage duration and pictorial memory performance. Future studies need to determine whether intraindividual differences rather than interindividual differences in sleep stage duration might be more predictive for the consolidation of emotional and neutral pictures during sleep.
Project description:We studied the interaction between glucocorticoid (GC) level and sleep/wake state during memory consolidation. Recent research has accumulated evidence that sleep supports memory consolidation in a unique physiological process, qualitatively distinct from consolidation occurring during wakefulness. This appears particularly true for memories that rely on the hippocampus, a region with abundant expression of GC receptors. Against this backdrop we hypothesized that GC effects on consolidation depend on the brain state, i.e., sleep and wakefulness. Following exploration of two objects in an open field, during 80 min retention periods rats received an intrahippocampal infusion of corticosterone (10 ng) or vehicle while asleep or awake. Then the memory was tested in the hippocampus-dependent object-place recognition paradigm. GCs impaired memory consolidation when administered during sleep but improved consolidation during the wake retention interval. Intrahippocampal infusion of GC or sleep/wake manipulations did not alter novel-object recognition performance that does not require the hippocampus. This work corroborates the notion of distinct consolidation processes occurring in sleep and wakefulnesss, and identifies GCs as a key player controlling distinct hippocampal memory consolidation processes in sleep and wake conditions.
Project description:beta-catenin has been implicated in neuronal synapse regulation and remodeling. Here we have examined beta-catenin expression in the adult mouse brain and its role in amygdala-dependent learning and memory. We found alterations in beta-catenin mRNA and protein phosphorylation during fear-memory consolidation. Such alterations correlated with a change in the association of beta-catenin with cadherin. Pharmacologically, this consolidation was enhanced by lithium-mediated facilitation of beta-catenin. Genetically, the role of beta-catenin was confirmed with site-specific deletions of loxP-flanked Ctnnb1 (encoding beta-catenin) in the amygdala. Baseline locomotion, anxiety-related behaviors and acquisition or expression of conditioned fear were normal. However, amygdala-specific deletion of Ctnnb1 prevented the normal transfer of newly formed fear learning into long-term memory. Thus, beta-catenin may be required in the amygdala for the normal consolidation, but not acquisition, of fear memory. This suggests a general role for beta-catenin in the synaptic remodeling and stabilization underlying long-term memory in adults.
Project description:In humans and many other animals, memory consolidation occurs through multiple temporal phases and usually involves more than one neuroanatomical brain system. Genetic dissection of Pavlovian olfactory learning in Drosophila melanogaster has revealed multiple memory phases, but the predominant view holds that all memory phases occur in mushroom body neurons. Here, we demonstrate an acute requirement for NMDA receptors (NMDARs) outside of the mushroom body during long-term memory (LTM) consolidation. Targeted dsRNA-mediated silencing of Nmdar1 and Nmdar2 (also known as dNR1 or dNR2, respectively) in cholinergic R4m-subtype large-field neurons of the ellipsoid body specifically disrupted LTM consolidation, but not retrieval. Similar silencing of functional NMDARs in the mushroom body disrupted an earlier memory phase, leaving LTM intact. Our results clearly establish an anatomical site outside of the mushroom body involved with LTM consolidation, thus revealing both a distributed brain system subserving olfactory memory formation and the existence of a system-level memory consolidation in Drosophila.
Project description:Chronic exposure to stress has been widely implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, yet relatively little is known about the long-term effects of chronic stress on amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we examined the effects of a history of chronic exposure to the stress-associated adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT) on the consolidation of a fear memory and the expression of memory-related immediate early genes (IEGs) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Rats received chronic exposure to CORT (50 ?g/ml) in their drinking water for 2 weeks and were then titrated off the CORT for an additional 6 days followed by a 2 week 'wash-out' period consisting of access to plain water. Rats were then either sacrificed to examine the expression of memory-related IEG expression in the LA or given auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. We show that chronic exposure to CORT leads to a persistent elevation in the expression of the IEGs Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the LA. Further, we show that rats with a history of chronic CORT exposure exhibit enhanced consolidation of a fear memory; short-term memory (STM) is not affected, while long-term memory (LTM) is significantly enhanced. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine following the chronic CORT exposure period was observed to effectively reverse both the persistent CORT-related increases in memory-related IEG expression in the LA and the CORT-related enhancement in fear memory consolidation. Our findings suggest that chronic exposure to CORT can regulate memory-related IEG expression and fear memory consolidation processes in the LA in a long-lasting manner and that treatment with fluoxetine can reverse these effects.