Bidirectional prefrontal-hippocampal dynamics during sleep

Bidirectional prefrontal-hippocampal dynamics organize information transfer during sleep in humans.

Nat Commun. 2019 08 08;10(1):3572

Authors: Helfrich RF, Lendner JD, Mander BA, Guillen H, Paff M, Mnatsakanyan L, Vadera S, Walker MP, Lin JJ, Knight RT

How are memories transferred from short-term to long-term storage? Systems-level memory consolidation is thought to be dependent on the coordinated interplay of cortical slow waves, thalamo-cortical sleep spindles and hippocampal ripple oscillations. However, it is currently unclear how the selective interaction of these cardinal sleep oscillations is organized to support information reactivation and transfer. Here, using human intracranial recordings, we demonstrate that the prefrontal cortex plays a key role in organizing the ripple-mediated information transfer during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. We reveal a temporally precise form of coupling between prefrontal slow-wave and spindle oscillations, which actively dictates the hippocampal-neocortical dialogue and information transfer. Our results suggest a model of the human sleeping brain in which rapid bidirectional interactions, triggered by the prefrontal cortex, mediate hippocampal activation to optimally time subsequent information transfer to the neocortex during NREM sleep.

PMID: 31395890 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]




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