"The Role of Sleep in Memory and Learning," a dinner symposium sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, will provide an introduction to the neurobiology of sleep and memory, along with evidence of sleep-dependent learning.

"The symposium will look at what is some of the basic understanding of the neurobiology of the relationship between sleep, memory consolidation, and learning," said Phyllis C. Zee, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology, neurobiology, and physiology at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. Speakers will be incorporating the use of functional imaging to demonstrate the neural networks that are also involved in how sleep plays a role in memory and cognition," she added. "The discussion will cover the aspect of the role of sleep not just in how you learn and in memory, but going from the basic, human science of sleep and memory to how then we can apply this tremendous explosion of new knowledge to the clinical practice."

Considerable scientific evidence enforce the importance of sleep in the process of memory consolidation following initial learning. Also on the table for discussion is evidence of how distinct memory processes may be related to specific sleep states.

"The symposium is also going to address sleep, learning, memory, and cognition in individuals with sleep apnea or insomnia," said Zee. "How either is affecting cognition and neural cognitive functioning in sleep disorders."

The 3-hour symposium kicks off Monday, June 9 at 6 pm in the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom. Attendees will receive two CME credits from the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine. Scheduled to speak are Eric Nofzinger, MD; Clete Kushida, MD, PhD; Robert Stickgold, PhD; and Matthew Walker, PhD.