REM sleep deprivation affects extinction of cued but not contextual fear conditioning

Physiol Behav. 2005 Mar 16;84(3):343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.11.011.


Previous research has demonstrated that rapid eye movement (REM), or paradoxical, sleep deprivation can interfere with the retention of certain types of learning tasks, particularly spatial learning. The present study investigated the effects of 6 h of REM sleep deprivation on the retention and extinction of both cued and contextual conditioning tasks in rats. Sleep-deprived animals showed normal retention of both types of conditioning tasks but retarded extinction of the cued task and a trend toward attenuated spontaneous recovery of the contextual task. The results provide further evidence for the involvement of REM sleep in learning and memory processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Association Learning*
  • Conditioning, Classical*
  • Cues*
  • Extinction, Psychological*
  • Fear*
  • Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Retention, Psychology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology*