Skip to main content Accessibility help

Composition and replay of mnemonic sequences: The contributions of REM and slow-wave sleep to episodic memory

  • Sen Cheng (a1) (a2) and Markus Werning (a2) (a3)


We propose that rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep contribute differently to the formation of episodic memories. REM sleep is important for building up invariant object representations that eventually recur to gamma-band oscillations in the neocortex. In contrast, slow-wave sleep is more directly involved in the consolidation of episodic memories through replay of sequential neural activity in hippocampal place cells.



Hide All
Bragin, A., Jando, G., Nadasdy, Z., Hetke, J., Wise, K. & Buzsaki, G. (1995) Gamma (40–100 Hz) oscillation in the hippocampus of the behaving rat. Journal of Neuroscience 15:4760.
Buhry, L., Azizi, A. H. & Cheng, S. (2011) Reactivation, replay, and preplay: How it might all fit together. Neural Plasticity 2011:111.
Cheng, S. & Frank, L. M. (2008) New experiences enhance coordinated neural activity in the hippocampus. Neuron 57:303–13.
Cheng, S. & Frank, L. M. (2011) The structure of networks that produce the transformation from grid cells to place cells. Neuroscience 197:293306.
Diba, K. & Buzsaki, G. (2007) Forward and reverse hippocampal place-cell sequences during ripples. Nature Neuroscience 10:1241–42.
Ekstrom, A. D., Kahana, M. J., Caplan, J. B., Fields, T. A., Isham, E. A., Newman, E. L. & Fried, I. (2003) Cellular networks underlying human spatial navigation. Nature 425(6954):184–88.
Engel, A. K., Fries, P., König, P., Brecht, M. & Singer, W. (1999) Temporal binding, binocular rivalry, and consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 8:128–51.
Fischer, S., Hallschmid, M., Elsner, A. L. & Born, J. (2002) Sleep forms memory for finger skills. PNAS USA 99:11987–91.
Fosse, M. J., Fosse, R., Hobson, J. A. & Stickgold, R. J. (2003) Dreaming and episodic memory: A functional dissociation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 15(1):19.
Gais, S. & Born, J. (2004) Declarative memory consolidation: Mechanisms acting during human sleep. Learning and Memory 11(6):679–85.
Gray, C. M., König, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Oscillatory responses in cat visual cortex exhibit inter-columnar synchronization which reflects global stimulus properties Nature 338:334–37.
Gupta, A. S., van der Meer, M. A., Touretzky, D. S. & Redish, A. D. (2012) Segmentation of spatial experience by hippocampal theta sequences. Nature Neuroscience 15:1032–39.
Karni, A., Tanne, D., Rubenstein, B. S., Askenasy, J. J. & Sagi, D. (1994) Dependence on REM sleep of overnight improvement of a perceptual skill. Science 265:679–82.
Kripke, S. (1980) Naming and necessity. Harvard University Press .
Lee, A. K. & Wilson, M. A. (2002) Memory of sequential experience in the hippocampus during slow wave sleep. Neuron 36:1183–94.
Llinás, R. R. & Ribary, U. (1993) Coherent 40-Hz oscillation characterizes dream state in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 90:2078–81.
Louie, K. & Wilson, M. A. (2001) Temporally structured replay of awake hippocampal ensemble activity during rapid eye movement sleep. Neuron 29:145–56.
Maye, A. & Werning, M. (2004) Temporal binding of non-uniform objects. Neurocomputing 58–60:941–48.
O'Keefe, J. & Dostrovsky, J. (1971) The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain Research 34:171–75.
Palm, G. & Sommer, F. (1992) Information capacity in recurrent McCulloch–Pitts networks with sparsely coded memory states. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 3:177–86.
Quiroga, R. Q., Reddy, L., Kreiman, G., Koch, C. & Fried, I. (2005) Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human brain. Nature 435:1102–107.
Scoville, W. B. & Milner, B. (1957) Loss of recent memory after bilateral hippocampal lesions. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 20:1121.
Singer, W. (1999) Neuronal synchrony: A versatile code for the definition of relations? Neuron 24:4965.
Singer, W. & Gray, C. M. (1995) Visual feature integration and the temporal correlation hypothesis. Annual Review of Neuroscience 18:555–86.
Stumpf, C. (1965) The fast component in the electrical activity of rabbit's hippocampus. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 18:477–86.
Tucker, M. A., Hirota, Y, Wamsley, E. J., Lau, H., Chaklader, A. & Fishbein, W. (2006) A daytime nap containing solely non-REM sleep enhances declarative but not procedural memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 86:241–47.
Werning, M. (2003a) Synchrony and composition: Toward a cognitive architecture between classicism and connectionism. In: Applications of mathematical logic in philosophy and linguistics, ed. Löwe, B., Malzkorn, W. & Löwe, B., pp. 261–78. Kluwer.
Werning, M. (2003b) Ventral vs. dorsal pathway: The source of the semantic object/event and the syntactic noun/verb distinction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26:299300.
Werning, M. (2005a) Neuronal synchronization, covariation, and compositional representation. In: The compositionality of meaning and content, vol. 2: Applications to linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience, ed. Machery, E., Werning, M. & Machery, E., pp. 283–12. Ontos Verlag.
Werning, M. (2005b) The temporal dimension of thought: Cortical foundations of predicative representation. Synthese 146(1/2):203–24.
Werning, M. (2012) Non-symbolic compositional representation and its neuronal foundation: Towards an emulative semantics. In: The Oxford handbook of compositionality, ed. Werning, M., Hinzen, W. & Werning, M., pp. 633–54. Oxford University Press.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Composition and replay of mnemonic sequences: The contributions of REM and slow-wave sleep to episodic memory

  • Sen Cheng (a1) (a2) and Markus Werning (a2) (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.