Improvement of learning by cueing during postlearning paradoxical sleep

Behav Brain Res. 1985 Dec;18(3):241-50. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(85)90032-4.


Rats were submitted to an active avoidance conditioning in a shuttle box with slight ear shocks used as conditioned stimulus (CS) preceding a foot shock. Three conditioning sessions were performed with a 24 h intersession interval. Animals were divided into 3 groups. After each session, the first group received the CS as cue during the first 6 phases of paradoxical sleep (PS) following learning. The second group received the CS as cue during 6 periods of wakefulness. The third group received no cue. Animals cued during PS showed a significant improvement in performances. The effect of cueing during the awake state appeared to be marginal compared to the clear-cut effects when the cue was presented during PS. A control experiment showed that the same ear shocks presented during PS were ineffective when they were not associated with the learning task (in this experiment a tone was used as CS during conditioning). These results are discussed in terms of memory reactivation during postlearning paradoxical sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Cues
  • Electroshock
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*