[en] Memory consolidation benefits from sleep. Besides strengthening some memory traces, another crucial, albeit overlooked, function of memory is also to erase irrelevant information. Directed forgetting is an experimental approach consisting in presenting “to be remembered” and “to be forgotten” information, that allows selectively decreasing or increasing the strength of individual memory traces according to the instruction provided at learning. This paradigm was used in combination with fMRI to determine, in Humans, what specifically triggers at encoding sleep-dependent compared to time-dependent consolidation. Our data indicate that relevant items which subjects strived to memorize are consolidated during sleep to a greater extend than items that participants did not intend to learn. This process appears to depend on a differential activation of the hippocampus at encoding, which acts as a signal for the offline reprocessing of relevant memories during post-learning sleep episodes.
Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Fondation Médicale Reine Elisabeth ; Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme