STUDY OBJECTIVES: Synchronization of neural activity within local networks and between brain regions is a major contributor to rhythmic field potentials such as the EEG. On the other hand, dynamic changes in microstructure and activity are reflected in the EEG, for instance slow oscillation (SO) slope can reflect synaptic strength. SO-spindle coupling is a measure for neural communication. It was previously associated with memory consolidation, but also shown to reveal strong interindividual differences. In studies, weak electric current stimulation has modulated brain rhythms and memory retention. Here, we investigate whether SO-spindle coupling and SO slope during baseline sleep are associated with (predictive of) stimulation efficacy on retention performance.

METHODS: Twenty-five healthy subjects participated in three experimental sessions. Sleep-associated memory consolidation was measured in two sessions, in one anodal transcranial direct current stimulation oscillating at subjects individual SO frequency (so-tDCS) was applied during nocturnal sleep. The third session was without a learning task (baseline sleep). The dependence on SO-spindle coupling and SO-slope during baseline sleep of so-tDCS efficacy on retention performance were investigated.

RESULTS: Stimulation efficacy on overnight retention of declarative memories was associated with nesting of slow spindles to SO trough in deep nonrapid eye movement baseline sleep. Steepness and direction of SO slope in baseline sleep were features indicative for stimulation efficacy.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings underscore a functional relevance of activity during the SO up-to-down state transition for memory consolidation and provide support for distinct consolidation mechanisms for types of declarative memories.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11.10.2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous slow oscillation-slow spindle features predict induced overnight memory retention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this