Pharmacological REM sleep suppression paradoxically improves rather than impairs skill memory

Nat Neurosci. 2009 Apr;12(4):396-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2206. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

Abstract

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been considered important for consolidation of memories, particularly of skills. Contrary to expectations, we found that REM sleep suppression by administration of selective serotonin or norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors after training did not impair consolidation of skills or word-pairs in healthy men but rather enhanced gains in finger tapping accuracy together with sleep spindles. Our results indicate that REM sleep as a unitary phenomenon is not required for skill-memory consolidation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects
  • Association Learning / drug effects
  • Catecholamines / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography
  • Fluvoxamine / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Morpholines / pharmacology*
  • Motor Skills / drug effects*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reboxetine
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Catecholamines
  • Morpholines
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Reboxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Hydrocortisone