Although a large body of evidence indicates that sleep plays an important role in learning and memory processes, the actual existence of a sleep-dependent spatial memory consolidation has been not firmly established. Here, by using a computerized 3D virtual navigation tool, we were able to show that topographical orientation in humans largely benefits from sleep after learning, while 10 h of wakefulness during the daytime do not exert similar beneficial effects. In particular, navigation performance enhancement needs sleep in the first post-training night, and no further improvements were seen after a second night of sleep. On the other hand, sleep deprivation hinders any performance enhancement and exerts a proactive disruption of spatial memory consolidation, since recovery sleep do not revert its effects. Spatial memory performance does not benefit from the simple passage of time, and a period of wakefulness between learning and sleep does not seem to have the role of stabilizing memory traces. In conclusion, our results indicate that spatial performance improvement is observed only when learning is followed by a period of sleep, regardless of the retention interval length. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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|Titolo:||Sleep to find your way: The role of sleep in the consolidation of memory for navigation in humans|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|