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Sleep and Brain Plasticity$
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Pierre Maquet, Carlyle Smith, and Robert Stickgold

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198574002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198574002.001.0001

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The Role of Sleep in Memory Processing: the Sequential Hypothesis

The Role of Sleep in Memory Processing: the Sequential Hypothesis

(p.157) Chapter 8 The Role of Sleep in Memory Processing: the Sequential Hypothesis
Sleep and Brain Plasticity

Antonio Giuditta

Paola Mandile

Paola Montagnese

Stefania Piscopo

Stefania Vescia

Oxford University Press

Slow wave sleep (SWS) was the first type of sleep to be described in human subjects by its high-amplitude, low-frequency electroencephalographic (EEG) waves, that sharply contrasted with the low-amplitude, high-frequency waves of active waking or wakefulness (W). Conversely, the later discovery of REM sleep was based on the occurrence of periodic episodes of rapid eye movements (REM) associated with a desynchronized EEG pattern resembling W. As this similarity envisaged an obvious paradox, REM sleep came to be also known as paradoxical sleep (PS). It is perhaps less well known that the discovery of PS elicited a remarkable wave of interest in its features that greatly contributed to highlight their relevance but, by contrast, outshadowed the role of SWS. This chapter discusses the evidence supporting the participation of SWS in memory processing, and the hypotheses concerning the roles of SWS and PS.

Keywords:   slow wave sleep, memory, paradoxical sleep, EEG waves, wakefulness

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