Hippocampal Connectivity Supporting Sleep Neural Replay in 18 Month Olds?
AuthorWarlick, Caitlin Cheree
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractNaps are important for memory during infancy. Eighteen-month-old infants were familiarized with an artificial language and tested 4 hours later on novel vocabulary (Gómez, Nadel, & Bootzin, in prep). Infants who napped after learning abstracted rules from the first trial at test and applied them to proceeding trials 4 hours later. Infants who did not nap after learning showed no discrimination at test. We tested two hypotheses to explain this effect. According to Synaptic Homeostasis theory during sleep synaptic downscaling occurs leaving behind only the strongest connections (Tononi & Cirelli, 2014). According to Active systems consolidation the hippocampus replays memories during sleep via sharp wave ripples in CA3 (Diekelmann & Born, 2010). CA3 does not form mature connections to other parts of the hippocampus until about 2 years of age (Lavenex & Banta Lavenex, 2013). We ask here if 18-month-old infants have sufficient connectivity to promote learning through neural replay by testing them on the same vocabulary at training and test. A generalization effect is consistent with Synaptic Homeostasis theory. A veridical memory effect is evidence for neural replay and Active systems consolidation. Interim results support Active systems consolidation, but our conclusions remain tentative until we complete data collection.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science