Italian researchers find evidence of REM sleep’s role in the consolidation of new hippocampus-dependent memories due to synchronization of EEG rhythms, according to a study published in the September 12, 2007 edition of the journal PLoS One.
In a study led by Fabio Moroni, MD, PhD, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, scientists recorded intracerebral stereo-EEG directly from the hippocampus and neocortical sites in five epileptics during pre-surgery tests.
During the first three NREM-REM sleep cycles of the night—when EEG frequency bands were evaluated—researchers saw that delta power in the hippocampus revealed a progressive decrease across sleep cycles, indicating that a type of stabilization of delta activity is happening in this region of the brain.
The researchers believe that the increased synchronization of the EEG rhythms in the hippocampus during REM sleep produces a “state of resonance” that may contribute to the processing/consolidation of new memories.
To read the full abstract, click here.