Thalamic Spindles Promote Memory Formation during Sleep through Triple Phase-Locking of Cortical, Thalamic, and Hippocampal Rhythms

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  • However, so far, there is no experimental evidence demonstrating a causal influence specifically of thalamic activity on the phase-locking between cortical slow oscillations and the subordinate rhythms—thalamo-cortical spindles and hippocampal ripples—in the process of memory formation. This is even more surprising as thalamic spindles emerging first during ontogeny (Khazipov et al., 2004), as well as in the course of human nocturnal sleep (Aeschbach and Borbély, 1993, Clemens et al., 2007), are suspected to play a central role in forming memory during sleep.

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