Poster F71, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Boosting Face Memory With Targeted Memory Reactivation During Sleep
Nathan Whitmore1, Adrianna M. Bassard1, Ken A. Paller1; 1Northwestern University
Remembering the face of someone you know is an indispensable ability, dependent on proficient perceptual and associative processing at both encoding and retrieval. Storing an enduring memory for a face may also depend on intervening sleep. Sleep has been implicated in other types of memory using auditory cues that selectively reactivate memories during sleep, so here we applied this method for Targeted Memory Reactivation (TMR) following learning of new face-name associations. Participants learned and were tested on 80 face-name associations. Then, a 90-minute nap opportunity was allowed, and 20 spoken names were played during slow-wave sleep. Both before and after sleep, participants were tested for cued recall (producing the name given the face) and recognition (discriminating learned from new faces). The recognition test also assessed perceptual familiarity using learned faces viewed from an unfamiliar angle. At the end of the experiment, participants completed a free recall test for the names they had learned. Results from 24 participants suggested that TMR improved recall selectively for learned names presented during sleep compared to learned names not presented, which showed forgetting overall. The degree to which sleep reactivation preserved memory appeared to depend on the number of times a specific memory trace was reactivated. Learning face-name associations thus appears to profit from memory reactivation during sleep. Further research is needed to elucidate relevant neural mechanisms.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic