Timothy Brawn



University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division, Organismal Biology and Anatomy 

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience 

on Wednesday, November 16 

at 12pm 

in BPSB 122 (940 E 57th St) 

A bird’s-eye view of sleep dependent memory consolidation: From humans to starlings 

Abstract: How new experiences are solidified into stable memories is a central question in neuroscience. One of the most intriguing discoveries in memory research is that brain activity during sleep helps to transform newly learned information and skills into robust memories. Behavioral studies in humans have provided extensive evidence supporting sleep consolidation of a broad range of memory tasks. Studies in animal systems have elucidated potential mechanisms contributing to sleep consolidation but often without demonstrating any memory benefit for the animal. Here, I will discuss the behavioral approach to sleep consolidation in humans. I will then use this approach to develop a behavioral animal model of sleep consolidation and reconsolidation in starlings, focusing on the differential effects of wakefulness and sleep on memory consolidation as well as the interaction of multiple learning experiences. I will end by the describing the structure of sleep in starlings and the relationship between sleep states and sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

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