Slow wave sleep (SWS) has been identified as the sleep stage involved in consolidating newly acquired information. A growing body of evidence has shown that delta (1-4 Hz) oscillatory activity, the characteristic electroencephalographic signature of SWS, is involved in coordinating interaction between the hippocampus and the neocortex and is thought to take a role in stabilizing memory traces related to a novel task. This case report describes a new protocol that uses neuroprosthetics training of a non-human primate to evaluate the effects of surface cortical electrical stimulation triggered from SWS cycles. The results suggest that stimulation phase-locked to SWS oscillatory activity promoted learning of the neuroprosthetic task. This protocol could be used to elucidate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity underlying off-line learning during sleep and offers new insights into the role of brain oscillations in information processing and memory consolidation.
Keywords: BMI; memory consolidation; oscillations; sleep; synaptic plasticity.