The last 10 years have witnessed an almost explosive growth in our knowledge of the roles that sleep may play in learning and memory consolidation, but several major issues remain. Much of the problem is due to the complexity of the systems involved; there are multiple forms of memories, multiple steps in memory consolidation, and multiple stages of sleep which might contribute to these processes. It thus becomes necessary to first ask what kinds of memory are affected by sleep, and then to ask what stages of sleep and what steps of memory consolidation are involved. Evidence exists for both declarative and procedural memory systems being sleep dependent, and in some cases, distinct components of the consolidation process may be sleep-dependent. But relatively few findings have been validated by multiple groups, and several are only being presented for the first time in the Preliminary Results section of this application. We propose to address these three fundamental unresolved issues. We will attempt to show (1) that sleep mediates consolidation of a new declarative memory task (Mandarin language study), (2) that slow wave sleep stabilizes and REM sleeps enhance perceptual learning, and (3) that sleep temporarily destabilizes motor skill learning as part of a process of sleep dependent consolidation. Confirming these hypotheses will significantly broaden our basic knowledge of the role of sleep in learning and memory consolidation. Western society has become a sleep deprived society, and this is especially true in the United States. There is a popular belief that the consequence of sleep deprivation is simply tiredness, that this can be overcome with effort or drugs, and that a good night's sleep on the weekend can completely reverse any deleterious effects of mid-week deprivation. Nowhere is this practice of """"""""sleep bulimia,"""""""" of weekly deprivation followed by weekend binge sleeping, more prevalent than on college campuses, although medical, public safety, and transportation personnel are also notoriously sleep deprived. All of these groups depend on continued education and learning for the effective performance of their tasks, and a clear understanding of exactly how sleep loss contributes to a failure of memory consolidation should provide important arguments to help counter this cultural drift towards less and less sleep. In addition, elucidation of the """"""""sleep-memory connection"""""""" will enrich our understanding of the normal processes of learning and memory consolidation so critical to effectiveness in school and work, and help explain how sleep loss and sleep disorders lead to cognitive impairments in otherwise healthy individuals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes 3 (BBBP)
Program Officer
Kurtzman, Howard S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
United States
Zip Code
Wamsley, Erin J; Stickgold, Robert (2018) Dreaming of a learning task is associated with enhanced memory consolidation: Replication in an overnight sleep study. J Sleep Res :e12749
Baran, Bengi; Correll, David; Vuper, Tessa C et al. (2018) Spared and impaired sleep-dependent memory consolidation in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 199:83-89
Cox, Roy; Schapiro, Anna C; Manoach, Dara S et al. (2017) Individual Differences in Frequency and Topography of Slow and Fast Sleep Spindles. Front Hum Neurosci 11:433
Purcell, S M; Manoach, D S; Demanuele, C et al. (2017) Characterizing sleep spindles in 11,630 individuals from the National Sleep Research Resource. Nat Commun 8:15930
Tucker, Matthew A; Morris, Christopher J; Morgan, Alexandra et al. (2017) The Relative Impact of Sleep and Circadian Drive on Motor Skill Acquisition and Memory Consolidation. Sleep 40:
Stickgold, Robert; Manoach, Dara S (2017) The Importance of Sleep in Fear Conditioning and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2:109-110
Demanuele, Charmaine; Bartsch, Ullrich; Baran, Bengi et al. (2017) Coordination of Slow Waves With Sleep Spindles Predicts Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation in Schizophrenia. Sleep 40:
Maski, Kiran; Steinhart, Erin; Holbrook, Hannah et al. (2017) Impaired memory consolidation in children with obstructive sleep disordered breathing. PLoS One 12:e0186915
Tucker, Matthew A; Nguyen, Nam; Stickgold, Robert (2016) Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Overnight Sleep Enhance Performance on a Sequential Typing Task. PLoS One 11:e0159608
Manoach, Dara S; Pan, Jen Q; Purcell, Shaun M et al. (2016) Reduced Sleep Spindles in Schizophrenia: A Treatable Endophenotype That Links Risk Genes to Impaired Cognition? Biol Psychiatry 80:599-608

Showing the most recent 10 out of 62 publications