Sleep spectral power correlates of prospective memory maintenance
Abstract: Prospective memory involves setting an intention to act that is maintained over time and executed when appropriate. Slow wave sleep (SWS) has been implicated in maintaining prospective memories, although which SWS oscillations most benefit this memory type remains unclear. Here, we investigated SWS spectral power correlates of prospective memory. Healthy young adult participants completed three ongoing tasks in the morning or evening. They were then given the prospective memory instruction to remember to press “Q” when viewing the words “horse” or “table” when repeating the ongoing task after a 12-h delay including overnight, polysomnographically recorded sleep or continued daytime wakefulness. Spectral power analysis was performed on recorded sleep EEG. Two additional groups were tested in the morning or evening only, serving as time-of-day controls. Participants who slept demonstrated superior prospective memory compared with those who remained awake, an effect not attributable to time-of-day of testing. Contrary to prior work, prospective memory was negatively associated with SWS. Furthermore, significant increases in spectral power in the delta-theta frequency range (1.56 Hz–6.84 Hz) during SWS was observed in participants who failed to execute the prospective memory instructions. Although sleep benefits prospective memory maintenance, this benefit may be compromised if SWS is enriched with delta–theta activity.
Keywords: horse / SWS / sleep / adult / prospective memory maintenance / spectral power
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