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The effect of a REM sleep deprivation procedure on different aspects of memory function in humans

Authors

  • Ingvild West Saxvig,

    1. Department of Biomedicine, Section of Physiology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Astri Johansen Lundervold,

    1. Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Janne Grønli,

    1. Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Psychiatric Division, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Reidun Ursin,

    1. Department of Biomedicine, Section of Physiology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Psychiatric Division, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Bjørn Bjorvatn,

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Psychiatric Division, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    3. Locus on Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Chiara Maria Portas

    1. Department of Biomedicine, Section of Physiology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Psychiatric Division, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    3. Locus on Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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Address reprint requests to: Ingvild West Saxvig, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Section for General Practice, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7804, N-5020 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: ingvild.saxvig@isf.uib.no.

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that memory is dependent on the occurrence of REM sleep. Research has mainly focused on two distinct types of memory function, declarative and procedural, and it seems that the latter may more directly depend on REM sleep. Memory consolidation has been more investigated than acquisition, maintenance, and recall, despite the fact that sleep may affect flow of information into/from storage. Moreover, tests have often been limited to stimuli within only one modality (usually visual or verbal). This study aimed to clarify the role of REM sleep in memory by investigating aspects of memory function, processing, and modality in the same experimental setting. Tests of acquisition and consolidation of multiple aspects of memory function within the visual and verbal modalities were administrated to subjects before and after REM sleep deprivation. Results show that test performance was not affected by REM sleep deprivation.

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