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Experimental Psychology Seminar

Lisa Genzel, Donders Centre for Neuroscience (Radboud University)


Creating Knowledge: sleep, novelty and memories

Distinct forms of memory consolidation (cellular and systems) influence the persistence of spatial memory within the hippocampus (cellular) and following hippocampal-neocortical interactions (systems). Factors influencing these processes include: (1) novelty exposure that enhances the persistence of hippocampal traces via neuromodulation; and (2) sleep that aids systems consolidation and thus cortical memory. In a sequence of experiments, we could show that sleep leads to systems consolidation via learning-dependent cortical consolidation, which is counterbalanced by general downscaling. In contrast, novelty tags a memory to remain more hippocampal by increasing gene expression. Further, hippocampal and cortical memories differ in quality – episodic and semantic respectively – as well as properties such as resistance to interference. In this talk I will highlight how sleep and novelty can thus create knowledge networks from our every-day memories.