Poster A89, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
A Sad Mood Prior to Sleep is Sufficient to Enhance Sleep-Dependent Consolidation of Sad Memories
Mckensey Johnson1, Holly Bowman1, Gretta Johnson1, Israh U. Imam1, Anjelica E. Langdon1, Carmen E. Westerberg1; 1Texas State University
Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is discriminatory, in that only a subset of recent memories are selected for long-term perseverance, through the reactivation of these memories during sleep. Reactivation may occur spontaneously, or through targeted reactivation, whereby cues associated with a memory are re-presented during sleep. We previously demonstrated that when sounds associated with a sad mood were re-presented during sleep, the consolidation of sad memories was enhanced. Here, we tested whether a sad mood prior to sleep is sufficient to enhance sad memory consolidation through spontaneous reactivation, without concomitant targeted reactivation during sleep. After listening to a story containing both sad and happy events, a sad mood was induced in 18 participants through music accompanied by a guided imagery task, wherein participants imagined themselves in a series of sad scenarios. Next, participants took a 90-min nap monitored with electroencephalography (EEG). Upon waking, they were asked to recall the story. Mood was assessed just prior to story encoding, sleep, and story recall. Participants recalled significantly more sad than happy story details, and EEG data provide clues regarding aspects of sleep physiology relevant to this enhancement. Furthermore, mood assessments revealed that participants were significantly sadder just prior to sleep compared with at encoding and at recall, indicating that a sad mood prior to sleep is sufficient to enhance the consolidation of sad relative to happy memories. This study demonstrates a novel method for influencing the selectivity of memory consolidation, and the results may have implications for treating mood disorders such as depression.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic