Disruption of passive avoidance memory by REM sleep deprivation: methodological and pharmacological considerations

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1982 Dec;17(6):1119-22. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(82)90105-8.


The present experiments were designed to examine more closely the variables responsible for the disruption of passive avoidance memory produced by REM sleep deprivation. In the pharmacological study it was found that imipramine could reverse the memory disruption exhibited by rats maintained on large platforms (presumably not REM-deprived) while both imipramine and physostigmine were required to reverse the memory disruption exhibited by rats maintained on small platforms. In the methodological study it was found that those animals maintained on the smallest platforms and therefore having the largest weight to area ratio exhibited the greatest degree of memory disruption. It is concluded that further modification and verification of the platform techniques of REM deprivation is required before firm conclusions about its neurochemical basis and behavioural functions can be made.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning* / drug effects
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Imipramine / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Memory* / drug effects
  • Mental Recall* / drug effects
  • Physostigmine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retention, Psychology / drug effects
  • Sleep Deprivation*
  • Sleep, REM* / drug effects


  • Physostigmine
  • Imipramine