The role of sleep in false memory formation

Jessica D. Payne, Daniel L. Schacter, Ruth Propper, Li Wen Huang, Erin J. Wamsley, Matthew A. Tucker, Matthew P. Walker, Robert Stickgold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Memories are not stored as exact copies of our experiences. As a result, remembering is subject not only to memory failure, but to inaccuracies and distortions as well. Although such distortions are often retained or even enhanced over time, sleep's contribution to the development of false memories is unknown. Here, we report that a night of sleep increases both veridical and false recall in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, compared to an equivalent period of daytime wakefulness. But while veridical memory deteriorates across both wake and sleep, false memories are preferentially preserved by sleep, actually showing a non-significant improvement. The same selectivity of false over veridical memories was observed in a follow-up nap study. Unlike previous studies implicating deep, slow-wave sleep (SWS) in declarative memory consolidation, here veridical recall correlated with decreased SWS, a finding that was observed in both the overnight and nap studies. These findings lead to two counterintuitive conclusions - that under certain circumstances sleep can promote false memories over veridical ones, and SWS can be associated with impairment rather than facilitation of declarative memory consolidation. While these effects produce memories that are less accurate after sleep, these memories may, in the end, be more useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009

Fingerprint

Sleep
Wakefulness

Keywords

  • Consolidation
  • Declarative memory
  • Episodic memory
  • Memory
  • Memory consolidation
  • Semantic memory
  • Sleep

Cite this

Payne, J. D., Schacter, D. L., Propper, R., Huang, L. W., Wamsley, E. J., Tucker, M. A., ... Stickgold, R. (2009). The role of sleep in false memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92(3), 327-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007
Payne, Jessica D. ; Schacter, Daniel L. ; Propper, Ruth ; Huang, Li Wen ; Wamsley, Erin J. ; Tucker, Matthew A. ; Walker, Matthew P. ; Stickgold, Robert. / The role of sleep in false memory formation. In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2009 ; Vol. 92, No. 3. pp. 327-334.
@article{e86ff92139e04e31879458cd3de61d2e,
title = "The role of sleep in false memory formation",
abstract = "Memories are not stored as exact copies of our experiences. As a result, remembering is subject not only to memory failure, but to inaccuracies and distortions as well. Although such distortions are often retained or even enhanced over time, sleep's contribution to the development of false memories is unknown. Here, we report that a night of sleep increases both veridical and false recall in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, compared to an equivalent period of daytime wakefulness. But while veridical memory deteriorates across both wake and sleep, false memories are preferentially preserved by sleep, actually showing a non-significant improvement. The same selectivity of false over veridical memories was observed in a follow-up nap study. Unlike previous studies implicating deep, slow-wave sleep (SWS) in declarative memory consolidation, here veridical recall correlated with decreased SWS, a finding that was observed in both the overnight and nap studies. These findings lead to two counterintuitive conclusions - that under certain circumstances sleep can promote false memories over veridical ones, and SWS can be associated with impairment rather than facilitation of declarative memory consolidation. While these effects produce memories that are less accurate after sleep, these memories may, in the end, be more useful.",
keywords = "Consolidation, Declarative memory, Episodic memory, Memory, Memory consolidation, Semantic memory, Sleep",
author = "Payne, {Jessica D.} and Schacter, {Daniel L.} and Ruth Propper and Huang, {Li Wen} and Wamsley, {Erin J.} and Tucker, {Matthew A.} and Walker, {Matthew P.} and Robert Stickgold",
year = "2009",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007",
language = "English",
volume = "92",
pages = "327--334",
journal = "Neurobiology of Learning and Memory",
issn = "1074-7427",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

Payne, JD, Schacter, DL, Propper, R, Huang, LW, Wamsley, EJ, Tucker, MA, Walker, MP & Stickgold, R 2009, 'The role of sleep in false memory formation', Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, vol. 92, no. 3, pp. 327-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007

The role of sleep in false memory formation. / Payne, Jessica D.; Schacter, Daniel L.; Propper, Ruth; Huang, Li Wen; Wamsley, Erin J.; Tucker, Matthew A.; Walker, Matthew P.; Stickgold, Robert.

In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 92, No. 3, 01.10.2009, p. 327-334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of sleep in false memory formation

AU - Payne, Jessica D.

AU - Schacter, Daniel L.

AU - Propper, Ruth

AU - Huang, Li Wen

AU - Wamsley, Erin J.

AU - Tucker, Matthew A.

AU - Walker, Matthew P.

AU - Stickgold, Robert

PY - 2009/10/1

Y1 - 2009/10/1

N2 - Memories are not stored as exact copies of our experiences. As a result, remembering is subject not only to memory failure, but to inaccuracies and distortions as well. Although such distortions are often retained or even enhanced over time, sleep's contribution to the development of false memories is unknown. Here, we report that a night of sleep increases both veridical and false recall in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, compared to an equivalent period of daytime wakefulness. But while veridical memory deteriorates across both wake and sleep, false memories are preferentially preserved by sleep, actually showing a non-significant improvement. The same selectivity of false over veridical memories was observed in a follow-up nap study. Unlike previous studies implicating deep, slow-wave sleep (SWS) in declarative memory consolidation, here veridical recall correlated with decreased SWS, a finding that was observed in both the overnight and nap studies. These findings lead to two counterintuitive conclusions - that under certain circumstances sleep can promote false memories over veridical ones, and SWS can be associated with impairment rather than facilitation of declarative memory consolidation. While these effects produce memories that are less accurate after sleep, these memories may, in the end, be more useful.

AB - Memories are not stored as exact copies of our experiences. As a result, remembering is subject not only to memory failure, but to inaccuracies and distortions as well. Although such distortions are often retained or even enhanced over time, sleep's contribution to the development of false memories is unknown. Here, we report that a night of sleep increases both veridical and false recall in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, compared to an equivalent period of daytime wakefulness. But while veridical memory deteriorates across both wake and sleep, false memories are preferentially preserved by sleep, actually showing a non-significant improvement. The same selectivity of false over veridical memories was observed in a follow-up nap study. Unlike previous studies implicating deep, slow-wave sleep (SWS) in declarative memory consolidation, here veridical recall correlated with decreased SWS, a finding that was observed in both the overnight and nap studies. These findings lead to two counterintuitive conclusions - that under certain circumstances sleep can promote false memories over veridical ones, and SWS can be associated with impairment rather than facilitation of declarative memory consolidation. While these effects produce memories that are less accurate after sleep, these memories may, in the end, be more useful.

KW - Consolidation

KW - Declarative memory

KW - Episodic memory

KW - Memory

KW - Memory consolidation

KW - Semantic memory

KW - Sleep

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69249215232&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007

DO - 10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007

M3 - Article

VL - 92

SP - 327

EP - 334

JO - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

JF - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

SN - 1074-7427

IS - 3

ER -

Payne JD, Schacter DL, Propper R, Huang LW, Wamsley EJ, Tucker MA et al. The role of sleep in false memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2009 Oct 1;92(3):327-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.007