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Sleep and memory research in humans


Research Aims

We investigate the functional role of sleep for memory consolidation in humans. One of our main research questions centers on understanding whether sleep serves to process memories in such a way as to predict future events and to adapt future behavior. On the mechanistic level, we study memory reactivation and reconsolidation processes during sleep using odor and auditory cues. In addition, we are interested in characterizing the functional role of specific neurotransmitters (such as glutamate and dopamine) as well as of specific sleep oscillations (such as slow oscillations and spindles) for sleep-dependent memory consolidation.



1.) Christine Barner
2.) Jens Klinzing
3.) Karsten Rauss
4.) Laura Herde


Nicolas Lutz


Hong-Viet Ngo 
7.) Gordon Feld
8.) Marjan Alizade 
9.) Frederik Weber
10.) Jingyi Wang
11.) Matthias Mölle
12.) Susanne Diekelmann



Current projects
  • Sleep and prospective memory (Susanne Diekelmann, Christine Barner)
  • Sleep and predictive coding (Karsten Rauss, Nicolas Lutz, Laura Herde)
  • Memory reactivation and reconsolidation during sleep (Susanne Diekelmann, Jens Klinzing, Cecilia Forcato, Jingyi Wang)
  • Pharmacological manipulations of sleep and memory (Gordon Feld, Marjan Alizade)
  • Sleep oscillations, closed-loop stimulation and memory (Hong-Viet Ngo, Matthias Mölle, Jens Klinzing, Frederik Weber)



Key publications
  • Diekelmann S, Wilhelm I, Wagner U, Born J (2013) Sleep to implement an intention. Sleep 36(1):149-153.
  • Rauss K, Pourtois G (2013) What is Bottom-Up and What is Top-Down in Predictive Coding? Front Psychol 17,4:276.
  • Diekelmann S, Büchel C, Born J, Rasch B (2011) Labile or stable: opposing consequences for memory when reactivated during waking and sleep. Nat Neurosci 14(3):381-386.
  • Feld GB, Lange T, Gais S, Born J (2013) Sleep-Dependent Declarative Memory Consolidation-Unaffected after Blocking NMDA or AMPA Receptors but Enhanced by NMDA Coagonist D-Cycloserine. Neuropsychopharmacology 38(13):2688-2697.
  • Ngo HV, Martinetz T, Born J, Mölle M (2013) Auditory closed-loop stimulation of the sleep slow oscillation enhances memory. Neuron 78(3):545-553.



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