Sleeping to Remember

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Science  18 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5397, pp. 2149
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5397.2149i

Can't quite name that catchy tune you heard? A good night's sleep may help you remember. Dave et al. (p. 2250; see the news story by Barinaga) recorded neuronal activity in the nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) of zebra finches during waking and sleeping periods. The RA area lies at the beginning of the motor pathway that supports singing. The RA neurons responded more strongly to the broadcast of a bird song when the bird was asleep or anesthetized than awake. This enhanced responsiveness was reduced by infusion of the neuromodulator norepinephrine into the brain area that provide input to the RA and suggests a mechanism by which auditory information might be consolidated as a function of wake-sleep state.

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