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Controlling Memory By Triggering Specific Brain Waves During Sleep

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New Research was found Controlling our memory power bu Triggering the specific Brain Waves during Sleep. Have you ever tried to recall something just before going to sleep and then wake up with the memory fresh in your mind. While we absorb so much information during the day consciously or unconsciously, it is during shut eye that a lot of facts are dispatched to be filed away or fall into oblivion.

A good quality sleep is the best way to feel mentally refreshed and memorize new information, but how is the brain working while we sleep. Could we improve such process to remember more, or maybe even use it to forget unwanted memories.

forget unwanted memories
forget unwanted memories

Scientists at the Center for Cognition and Sociality, Keyword enhancement made within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), enhanced or reduced mouse memorization skills by modulating specific synchronized brain waves during deep sleep. This is the first study to show that manipulating sleep spindle oscillations at the right timing affects memory.

The research team concentrated on a non-REM deep sleep phase that generally happens throughout the night, in alternation with the REM phase. It is called slow-wave sleep and it seems to be involved with memory formation, rather than dreaming.

During slow-wave sleep, groups of neurons firing at the same time generate brain waves with triple rhythms: slow oscillations, spindles, and ripples. Slow oscillations originate from neurons in the cerebral cortex.

Spindles come from a structure of the brain called thalamic reticular nucleus and spike around 7-15 per second. Finally, ripples are sharp and quick bursts of electrical energy, produced within the hippocampus, a brain component with an important role in spatial memory.

spatial memory electrical energy
spatial memory electrical energy

The researchers focused on spindles because it was shown that the number of spindles is connected with memorization. It has been shown that the number of spindles increases following a day stuffed with learning and declines in the elderly, and in patients with schizophrenia. This is the first study to show that artificial thalamic spindles affect memory, if administered in sync with slow oscillations.

In the experiment, mice were put in a special cage and given a mild electric shock after hearing a tonal noise. The day after, their memory was tested, by checking their fear reaction in response to either the same noise or the same cage.

Latchoumane explains that this could be simplified and compared to the experience of hearing a fire alarm in a certain location, like a cafe. The incident would be followed by either another visit to the same cafe or the sound of the fire alarm in another cafe on the following day.

Brain Electrical Energy
Brain Electrical Energy

At nighttime between the two days, scientists introduced artificial thalamic spindles in some of the mice using a light-based technique called optogenetics. The mice were divided into three groups.

The first group received the light input just after the slow oscillations, so their spindle could form a triple rhythm (in phase): slow oscillation-spindle-ripples. In the second group the light stimulations were applied later “out of sync.” The third group was used as a control and did not receive any light stimulation.

At nighttime between the two days, scientists introduced artificial thalamic spindles in some of the mice using a light-based technique called optogenetics. The mice were divided into three groups.

 

light-based technique
light-based technique

The first group received the light input just after the slow oscillations, so their spindle could form a triple rhythm (in phase): slow oscillation-spindle-ripples. In the second group the light stimulations were applied later “out of sync.”

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