Mesograde amnesia during the sleep onset transition: Replication and electrophysiological correlates

James K. Wyatt, Richard R. Bootzin, John J.B. Allen, Jennifer L. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study was designed to explore mechanisms of amnesia for meaningful auditory material presented during the sleep onset transition. Thirty undergraduate subjects (17 female, 13 male) were presented with auditory stimuli in an oddball paradigm until sleep onset. Subjects were allowed to accumulate either 30 seconds or 10 minutes of sleep, then awakened and tested on free recall and recognition memory for the meaningful stimuli. After 10 minutes of sleep, but not after 30 seconds of sleep, subjects had profound amnesia on free recall for stimuli presented in the 4-minute window prior to sleep onset. Increased beta electroencephalograph (EEG) power during the sleep period correlated positively with recall of stimuli in the 4- minute presleep window. Event-related potential recordings provided suggestive evidence that subjects continued to process the auditory stimuli to some extent during the sleep onset transition. When allowed to sleep for 10 minutes, subjects evidenced a mixed anterograde and retrograde amnesia for auditory stimuli presented in the 4-minute window prior to sleep onset. The results are discussed in terms of stimulus encoding, consolidation, and retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
JournalSleep
Volume20
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 10 1997

Keywords

  • Amnesia
  • Event-related potentials
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Sleep onset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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