Memory and Sleep
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Prof. Bernhard Staresina
Neurophysiology of Sleep and Memory Consolidation
We use high-density scalp EEG, intracranial EEG in epilepsy patients and simultaneous EEG-fMRI to understand the mechanisms of systems consolidation. What are the exact roles of cortical slow oscillations (SOs), thalamocortical spindles and hippocampal ripples during non-REM sleep? What types of memories benefit the most from the precise interaction of these oscillations? How is offline reactivation and replay coordinated in the human brain? Can we bolster memory consolidation via experimental brain stimulation (transcranial electrical stimulation, targeted memory reactivation, closed loop stimulation)?
Functional Neuroanatomy of Episodic Memory
We use standard (3T) and high-field (7T) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as direct intracranial recordings from the human hippocampus to understand the division of labour within the MTL in service of episodic memory. What are the roles of the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex (EC) beyond spatial navigation? Where does domain-specificity seen in MTL cortex turn to domain-generality seen in hippocampus? How does our memory system rapidly switch between encoding and retrieval states?
For World Sleep Day 2022, Bernhard Staresina discusses research into "the effects of sleep on memory consolidation" : https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/news/read-our-blogs/sleep-research-can-sleep-improve-our-memory
Located at Warneford Hospital, our research takes place at the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) where we have a dedicated sleep lab and access to a 3T MRI scanner, EEG facilities, and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) units.