PerspectiveNeuroscience

REMembering what you learned

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Science  13 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6287, pp. 770-771
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf9117

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Summary

Which memories are retained, where, and in what form depends on a long afterlife of the acquired information in the brain. Initial steps of consolidation may be completed within a few hours during wakefulness, but other forms of postacquisition processing take longer, extending into sleep (1, 2). The relationship between brain activity during sleep and memory consolidation remains controversial and poorly understood. On page 812 of this issue, Boyce et al. (3) demonstrate that a distinct form of hippocampal neural activity, called theta oscillation, is critical for memory formation during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.