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Neural dynamics of associative learning during human sleep

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Bekinschtein, Tristan  ORCID logo
Merlo, Emiliano 
Arzi, Anat 
Canales-Johnson, Andres 


Recent evidence indicate that humans can learn entirely new information during 3 sleep. To elucidate the neural dynamics underlying sleep-learning we investigated 4 brain activity during auditory-olfactory discriminatory associative learning in human 5 sleep. We found that learning-related delta and sigma neural changes are involved in 6 early acquisition stages, when new associations are being formed. In contrast, 7 learning-related theta activity emerged in later stages of the learning process, after 8 tone-odour associations were already established. These findings suggest that 9 learning new associations during sleep is signalled by a dynamic interplay between 10 slow-waves, sigma and theta activity



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Cerebral Cortex

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Oxford University Press
Wellcome Trust (via MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU)) (093811/Z/10/Z)
Royal Society (NF150851)
Wellcome Trust (unknown)
This work was supported by the Blavatnik family Foundation (to A.A.), Royal Society—Kohn International fellowship (NF150851 to A.A.), European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) fellowship (ALTF 33-2016 to A.A.), Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT N 1171200 to A.C.J.), and The Wellcome Trust (WT093811MA to T.A.B.). Collection of the data at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel was supported by the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Fund for Brain Research.