The doors of memory: The role of sleep on memory formation and modification.

FALAN Satellite Meeting
Title: The doors of memory: The role of sleep on memory formation and modification.
Dr. Cecilia Forcato (Argentina)
Dr. Felipe Beijamini (Brazil)
Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (UNQ),
Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Roque Sáenz Peña 352,
(1876) Bernal Buenos Aires
Date: October 16th 2016

Purpose and nature of the course:
This is the first Latin American Meeting of Sleep and Memory dealing with one
of the most frontier topics in Neuroscience: the role of sleep in memory formation and
modification. It will be held in the National University of Quilmes (UNQ), Buenos Aires
on 16th October 2016 as a Satellite Event of the FALAN 2016 (Federation of Latin
America and Caribbean Neuroscience, It counts
with the support of the Brazilian Sleep Society, the Brazilian Society of Neuroscience
and Behaviour, the National University of Quilmes (UNQ) and the Argentinian Society
of Neuroscience.
The aims of the meeting are:
1) To discuss theories and current results about the role of sleep in memory, as
well as its application in education and psychotherapy in Latin America;
2) To promote the development of new lines of research in the region as well as
making networking between Latin American Countries and also with countries outside
the region and to strengthen the already established collaboration with Europe and
North America;
3) To promote the participation of students and researchers generating a space
for discussion and integration of the different steps of the scientific carrier;
4) To provide a space, outside the conference, for the students that are
beginning the scientific carrier to reach the experts in an informal environment (lunch,
cheese and wine) promoting the exchange of ideas.
We can say some words about it in the beginning, like this is a course thought
to be held by senior and young international researchers from the field Sleep, memory
and consciousness. The talks we will see today are going to be presented by some of
the most important scientist from the field as well young scientists who are also
making important contributions in this area
This special meeting will include 11 talks of senior and young international
researchers from the field Sleep, Memory and Consciousness. We will discuss the
active role of sleep in memory formation, the electrophysiological mechanisms
involved in the transfer of information between short-term to long-term stores during
sleep, as well as the molecular mechanisms involved in the process. Furthermore, we
will discuss the use of sleep protocols for memory improvement in education and
psychotherapy. This meeting aims to encompass several a multidisciplinary discussion
by presenting and discussing behavioural, electrophysiological, molecular,
pharmacological and imaging approaches, of different types of memories (motor,
emotional, episodic, autobiographical, schema memories), from animal models to
Notwithstanding that research in the field of sleep and memory has achieve
remarkable improvements in the past decades, in Argentina and several other
countries from Latin America and Caribbean region are still playing a minor role in this
field, with exception of Brazil, there are few laboratories dedicated to the study of
sleep and more specifically sleep and memory in the region. This meeting was planned
to bring some of the most important researchers of the field to present their own
theories and research about sleep and memory. Furthermore, one of the most exciting
goals of this meeting is to bring young exceptional researchers who are building their
own career to contribute in the field of sleep and memory. Consequently, we also
expect to promote a unique opportunity of interaction between young and senior
researchers. We aim to stimulate discussion and the development of networks and
collaborations. Notwithstanding, this meeting will be a fantastic opportunity for the
popularization of the topic among Argentinian, Latin American and Caribbean fellows
considering that the meeting is scheduled to occur as a satellite event for the reunion
of the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Neuroscience – FALAN. We also
believe in the potential role of this meeting to contribute in education and clinical
settings. Complimentary, we also believe that this meeting has a great potential for the
advancement of the internationalization of Argentinian, Latin American and Caribbean
fellows in this field. Finally, we would like to stress that this is the first attempt to
bring such a great team of scientists from the sleep and memory field to Argentina,
which may stimulate the participation of general public.


Schedule of the meeting
7.30h Transfer to the National University of Quilmes
8.00h Registration
9.10h Welcome (Cecilia Forcato and Felipe Beijamini)
9.20-10h Talk 1. Memory formation during sleep – the role of spindles
by Dr. Jan Born (Germany).
10-10.40h Talk 2. Stress, Sleep, and Memory Consolidation: Independent and
Interactive Effects
by Dr. Jessica Payne (United States of America).
10.40-11.20h Talk 3. Sleep, consolidation, and semantic memory formation
by Dr. Penelope Lewis (England)
11.20-11.35h Coffe-break
11.35-12.15h Talk 4. Contribution of Sleep to Motor Skill Learning and Consolidation
by Dr. Julien Doyon (Canada).
12.15-12.55h Talk 5. Sleep and School Learning
by Dr. Sidarta Ribeiro (Brazil).
12.55-14.30h Lunch (meeting the scientists)
14.30-15.10h Talk 6. Reactivation of neuronal firing patterns of the ventral
tegmental area during sleep.
by Dr. José Luis Valdés (Chile).
15.10-15.50h Talk 7. How much we can remember after a nap? What if the nap is
under a sedative?
by Dr. Tristán Bekinschtein (England)
15.50-16.30h Talk 8. Sleep strengthens consolidation of contextual specificity of
operant behavior
by Lic. Margarita Borquéz (Chile).
16.30-16.45h Coffe-break
16.45-17.25h Talk 9. The role of sleep in long-term true and false memories
by MA. Enmanuelle Pardilla-Delgado (United States of America).
17.25-18.05h Talk 10. The Role of Reconsolidation in Memory Strengthening during
by Dr. Cecilia Forcato (Argentina).
18.05-18.45h Talk 11. Sleep and Problem Solving
by Dr. Felipe Beijamini (Brazil).
19h Cheese and Wine (meeting the scientists)
20.30h Transfer to Capital Federal.

Abstracts of the Talks

Talk 1.
“Memory formation during sleep – the role of spindles”
By Jan Born
Whereas memories are encoded and retrieved optimally when the brain is
awake, the consolidation of memory requires an offline mode of processing as
established optimally only during sleep. Recent studies have elucidated some of the
neurophysiological mechanims underlying the consolidation of memories during sleep,
especially in the hippocampus-dependent declarative memory system. This system is
capable of rapidly forming an initial memory representation for an episode upon its
one-time occurrence, and is thus at the basis of the formation of any long-term
memory. The consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memories represents an active
system consolidation process that takes place mainly during slow wave sleep (SWS)
rather than REM sleep, and critically relies on the neural reactivation of newly encoded
representations. This reactivation originates from hippocampal circuitry and likely
stimulates a gradual redistribution of the representations towards extra-hippocampal,
mainly neocortical networks serving as long-term store. The redistribution of the
representation goes along with a qualitative transformation of the memory towards a
more abstract schema-like representation. The hippocampo-to-neocortical transfer of
reactivated memory information appears to be primed by the occurrence of a
hierarchical nesting of SWS-related EEG oscillations, where hippocampal ripples (and
enwrapped reactivated memory information) nest into the excitable troughs of a
thalamic spindle, and where such spindle-ripple events themselves nest into the
excitable up-states of the neocortical (<1Hz) slow oscillation. Thalamic spindle play a
central role in this transfer because they do not only phase-lock hippocampal
reactivations but also contribute to the generation of neocortical slow oscillations.

Talk 2.
“Stress, Sleep, and Memory Consolidation: Independent and Interactive Effects”
By Jessica Payne
Separate lines of research demonstrate that elevated cortisol can selectively benefit
the consolidation of emotional memories, as can the occurrence of sleep soon after
learning. The first part of my talk will examine the separate roles that stress and sleep
play in the formation of emotional memories. In the second part, I will discuss new
evidence, from behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies, suggesting
that stress and arousal interact with sleep to benefit memory consolidation,
particularly for negative arousing information. I will conclude by presenting a model
suggesting that stress hormones may help ‘tag’ attended information as important to
remember at the time of encoding, thus enabling subsequent, sleep-based processes
to optimally consolidate information in a selective manner.

Talk 3.
“Sleep, consolidation, and semantic memory formation By Penelope Lewis”
By Penelope Lewis
Semantic memory can be thought of as the decontextualised gist of multiple related
episodes. At a more theoretical level, it can also be thought of as the abstracted
statistical properties which define a particular type of experience. Recent research has
shown that sleep enhances integration across multiple stimuli, abstraction of general
rules, insight into hidden solutions, and even creativity. I will build on this literature by
presenting evidence that sleep is also important for the abstraction of statistical rules
which define a particular dataset, for the off-line decontextualisation of episodic
memories, and for the integration of newly learned information into existing
knowledge. Taken together, these findings support a role for sleep in the formation of
new aspects of semantic knowledge.

Talk 4.
“Contribution of Sleep to Motor Skill Learning and Consolidation”
By Julien Doyon
Motor sequence learning (MSL) refers to the process by which movement elements
come to be performed effortlessly as a unitary sequence through multiple sessions of
practice. Numerous studies, including those from my own laboratory, have
convincingly demonstrated that sleep (at night and daytime) and spindles during
NREM sleep in particular, play a critical role in MSL consolidation. Furthermore,
changes in striatal and hippocampal activity after learning have been thought to
contribute to the consolidation of MSL. Up until now, however, evidence supporting
these views has been entirely indirect, as studies have only reported correlations
between spindle characteristics and brain activity before and after, but not during, a
post-learning night of sleep. In this presentation, I will discuss the results of a series of
studies that either used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) either alone or
combined with electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings during the night following
training of a new sequence of movements, or used a motor sequence-olfactory
conditioning paradigm, in order to investigate the nature of the mnemonic process
implicated, the role of sleep spindles and the sleep stages during which the off-line
consolidation of a newly acquired motor memory trace takes place.

Talk 5.
“Sleep and School Learning”
By Sidarta Ribeiro
Post-training sleep is important for declarative memory consolidation. However, the
educational potential of sleep is yet to be tapped. This talk will present published and
unpublished results of class-room experiments on the educational utility of posttraining
sleep. Altogether, the results indicate that sleep benefits formal academic

Talk 6.
“Reactivation of neuronal firing patterns of the ventral tegmental area during sleep”
By José Luis Valdés
It has been demonstrated that during sleep, different structures in the brain such as
the hippocampus, neocortex, and striatum exhibit spatiotemporal correlation patterns
resembling those observed during the task. This reactivation phenomenon has been
proposed as a neurophysiological substrate for memory consolidation. Here we show
new evidence that rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons actively reactivate
during a rest period following a task, which involves stimuli with different valence.
Reactivation occurred primarily during slow wave sleep and during quiet awakeness.
The patterns of reactivation in the VTA showed uncompressed timing and occurred at
the firing rate level, rather than on a spike-to-spike basis. Mildly aversive stimuli were
reactivated more often than positive ones. Currently is well know that VTA is a
structure involved in the perception and prediction of rewards and stimulus salience
and is an essential neuromodulatory system involved in synaptic plasticity. This new
evidence suggests new ways in which dopaminergic signals could contribute to the
biophysical mechanisms of memory consolidation, during sleep.
Talk 7.
“Sleep strengthens consolidation of contextual specificity of operant behavior”
By Margarita Borquéz
Numerous studies have reported that the consolidation of recently acquired memories
is favored by the later sleep. The aim of this research was to determine whether sleep
benefits the contextual specificity of extinction memory of operant behavior. 48
Sprague Dawley rats separated into three groups (ns = 16, Sleep, Sleep Deprivation,
Control wake) were used, trained subjects on a task of operant conditioning in context
A, then extinction was carried out in context B. The testing was performed both in the
context B as in a novel context (context C). The Sleep group was tested after retention
interval of three hours in which they were allowed to sleep, the Sleep Deprivation
group was tested after an interval of 3 hours in which they were not allowed to sleep.
The Wake Control group was disposed to control circadian factors. The response rate
of subjects in each experimental phase was recorded and was acquired EEG
(electroencephalograms) registered. The results indicate that Sleep group had a lower
response recovery in extinction context (context B) and a higher response recovery
(renewal) in a novel context (context C) than Sleep Deprivation group. These results
provide evidence that context specificity of extinction is favored by post-training sleep.

Talk 8.
“How much we can remember after a nap? What if the nap is under a sedative?”
By Tristán Bekinschtein
The memory consolidation framework does not accommodate drug-induced naps
under in its realm, nor is amenable to information presented during the transition to
sleep. In this talk I would like to discuss the strength and weaknesses of the sleep
consolidation framework in light of this two challenging experiments.
These results suggest that sleep spindle activity marks schema-dependent
consolidation, possibly through a role in the integration of newly acquired memories
into pre-existing neocortical schemas.

Talk 9.
“The role of sleep in long-term true and false memories”
By Enmanuelle Pardilla-Delgado
While the influence of sleep on memory has a long history, sleep’s role in the
formation of false memories is less clear. Although technically a false memory,
remembering information that is strongly related to the theme, or gist, of an
experience can be considered an adaptive process. While some evidence suggests that
sleep, compared to a wake period, increases both true and gist-based false memories
in the DRM task, not all studies have returned this result, and most studies cannot
completely rule out the possibility that sleep is merely protecting the information from
interference, as opposed to actively aiding its consolidation. Here, to equate the
amount of time spent awake and asleep across groups, we assessed how the
positioning of sleep relative to memory encoding impacts true and false memory
formation across longer delays of 24 and 48 hours. Participants encoded 16 DRM lists
in the morning (WAKE 1st Groups) or evening (SLEEP 1st Groups), and were tested
either 24 or 48 hours later at the same time of day. Results demonstrate that true
memory is better when participants sleep soon after learning. To a lesser extent,
sleeping first also increased false memory. Importantly, and similar to previous studies,
a negative correlation between slow wave sleep (SWS) and false recognition was
found, suggesting that SWS may be detrimental for semantic/gist processing.

Talk 10.
“The role of Reconsolidation on Memory Strengthening during Sleep”
By Cecilia Forcato
Memory reactivation exerts different effects on declarative memories depending on
whether reminders are presented during wakefulness or sleep. In the wake state
reactivation labilizes memories requiring reconsolidation, whereas reactivation during
sleep promotes memory stabilization. A mismatch between current and past events is
necessary in order to initiate memory labilization/restabilization during wakefulness. I
will discuss new data supporting that a mismatch is also required to trigger long term
memory strengthening during sleep but not for short term strengthening.

Talk 11.
“Sleep and Problem Solving”
By Felipe Beijamini
Sleep facilitates the strengthening of previously learned experiences by reactivating
memory. Furthermore, there is evidence of memory transformation and
reorganization during sleep. Accordingly, the active system consolidation hypothesis
claims that this reorganization process involves the transfer of recently encoded
memories from the hippocampus to preexisting, more stable and long-lasting
networks located in the neocortex. This process is believed to promote generalization
and abstraction of rules, knowledge and extraction of the gist, and probably also
insight into solution for problems. In the past years we have been testing the
hypothesis that memory reactivation during sleep can improve the consolidation of
triggered memories to facilitate subsequent problem solving by exposing subjects to a
video-game based problem and evaluating their performance after a nap, or a night of
sleep. According to our findings sleep increases the chance to solve a problem.

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