Document Detail

REM sleep depotentiates amygdala activity to previous emotional experiences.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22119526     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Clinical evidence suggests a potentially causal interaction between sleep and affective brain function; nearly all mood disorders display co-occurring sleep abnormalities, commonly involving rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Building on this clinical evidence, recent neurobiological frameworks have hypothesized a benefit of REM sleep in palliatively decreasing next-day brain reactivity to recent waking emotional experiences. Specifically, the marked suppression of central adrenergic neurotransmitters during REM (commonly implicated in arousal and stress), coupled with activation in amygdala-hippocampal networks that encode salient events, is proposed to (re)process and depotentiate previous affective experiences, decreasing their emotional intensity. In contrast, the failure of such adrenergic reduction during REM sleep has been described in anxiety disorders, indexed by persistent high-frequency electroencephalographic (EEG) activity (>30 Hz); a candidate factor contributing to hyperarousal and exaggerated amygdala reactivity. Despite these neurobiological frameworks, and their predictions, the proposed benefit of REM sleep physiology in depotentiating neural and behavioral responsivity to prior emotional events remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that REM sleep physiology is associated with an overnight dissipation of amygdala activity in response to previous emotional experiences, altering functional connectivity and reducing next-day subjective emotionality.
Els van der Helm; Justin Yao; Shubir Dutt; Vikram Rao; Jared M Saletin; Matthew P Walker
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2011-11-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  21     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Biol.     Publication Date:  2011 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-13     Completed Date:  2012-04-09     Revised Date:  2014-09-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2029-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Amygdala / physiology*
Analysis of Variance
Emotions / physiology*
Long-Term Synaptic Depression / physiology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neural Pathways / physiology
Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
Reaction Time
Sleep, REM / physiology*
Grant Support
R01 AG031164/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 AG031164-04/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01 MH093537/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01AG031164/AG/NIA NIH HHS; R01MH093537/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

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