PublicationsSleep deprivation directly following eyeblink-conditioning impairs memory consolidation
The relation between sleep and different forms of memory formation continues to be a relevant topic in our daily life. Sleep has been found to affect cerebellum-dependent procedural memory formation, but it remains to be elucidated to what extent the level of sleep deprivation directly after motor training also influences our ability to store and retrieve memories. Here, we studied the effect of disturbed sleep in mice during two different time-windows, one covering the first four hours following eyeblink conditioning (EBC) and another window following the next period of four hours. Compared to control mice with sleep ad libitum, the percentage of conditioned responses and their amplitude were impaired when mice were deprived of sleep directly after conditioning. This impairment was still significant when the learned EBC responses were extinguished and later reacquired. However, consolidation of eyeblink responses was not affected when mice were deprived later than four hours after acquisition, not even when tested during a different day-night cycle for control. Moreover, mice that slept longer directly following EBC showed a tendency for more conditioned responses. Our data indicate that consolidation of motor memories can benefit from sleep directly following memory formation.