Overnight consolidation aids the transfer of statistical knowledge from the medial temporal lobe to the striatum

Simon J. Durrant, Scott A. Cairney, Penelope A. Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Sleep is important for abstraction of the underlying principles (or gist) which bind together conceptually related stimuli, but little is known about the neural correlates of this process. Here, we investigate this issue using overnight sleep monitoring and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants were exposed to a statistically structured sequence of auditory tones then tested immediately for recognition of short sequences which conformed to the learned statistical pattern. Subsequently, after consolidation over either 30 min or 24 h, they performed a delayed test session in which brain activity was monitored with fMRI. Behaviorally, there was greater improvement across 24 h than across 30 min, and this was predicted by the amount of slow wave sleep (SWS) obtained. Functionally, we observed weaker parahippocampal responses and stronger striatal responses after sleep. Like the behavioral result, these differences in functional response were predicted by the amount of SWS obtained. Furthermore, connectivity between stria-tum and parahippocampus was weaker after sleep, whereas connectivity between putamen and planum temporale was stronger. Taken together, these findings suggest that abstraction is associated with a gradual shift from the hippocampal to the striatal memory system and that this may be mediated by SWS. © The Author 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2467-2478
    Number of pages11
    JournalCerebral Cortex
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


    • Abstraction
    • Consolidation
    • Hippocampus
    • Sleep
    • Striatum


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