Reactivations of emotional memory in the hippocampus-amygdala system during sleep

Nat Neurosci. 2017 Nov;20(11):1634-1642. doi: 10.1038/nn.4637. Epub 2017 Sep 11.


The consolidation of context-dependent emotional memory requires communication between the hippocampus and the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but the mechanisms of this process are unknown. We recorded neuronal ensembles in the hippocampus and BLA while rats learned the location of an aversive air puff on a linear track, as well as during sleep before and after training. We found coordinated reactivations between the hippocampus and the BLA during non-REM sleep following training. These reactivations peaked during hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SPW-Rs) and involved a subgroup of BLA cells positively modulated during hippocampal SPW-Rs. Notably, reactivation was stronger for the hippocampus-BLA correlation patterns representing the run direction that involved the air puff than for the 'safe' direction. These findings suggest that consolidation of contextual emotional memory occurs during ripple-reactivation of hippocampus-amygdala circuits.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / physiology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Sleep / physiology*